The Meaning of Broadcasting and Its Application to a Media Exclusion

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When is broadcasting broadcasting as opposed to transmission? And is there a difference? That was the question before the court on an appeal from a judgment that an insurer did not have to defend its insured in a copyright infringement suit. The question was pertinent because of a media exclusion in the policy.

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Insurance Coverage Only Goes So Far

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It should be pretty obvious that you only get the insurance you ask and pay for. Yet, sometimes coverage is sought well beyond the scope of the policy. In a recent case, the court made short work of the issue, but nevertheless the case went all the way to an appeals court even though it was obvious there was no coverage.

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Insured vs Insured Exclusion Precludes Coverage

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In many insurance policies, particularly directors and officers liability policies, coverage is precluded if one insured brings a claim against another insured. But what happens if one of the named plaintiffs is not an insured party? A recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals case addresses this issue.

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Weapons Exclusion Precludes Coverage


Courts are tough on exclusions but when an exclusion is clear it will preclude coverage. In a recent case, an exclusion for bodily injury arising out of weapons resulted in a coverage case being dismissed

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Timely Notice Is Required Under a Claims-Made Policy in New York

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Claims-made policies were created to bring more certainty to the insurance relationship. The policies apply generally to claims that are incurred and reported during the policy period or any extended reporting period. If the claim is not reported on time, there is no coverage.

This contractual result often clashes with statutory provisions, like that in New York, which preclude an insurance company from avoiding its obligations because of late notice of claim unless there is prejudice. See N.Y. Ins. Law § 3420(a)(5). In a recent decision, a New York intermediate appellate court made it clear that a claims-made policy still requires timely notice.

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The Duty to Defend Is Hard to Avoid

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Everyone knows an insurer’s duty to defend is broader than its duty to indemnify. When an insurer disclaims on its duty to defend, the lack of coverage or the applicability of an exclusion has to be crystal clear. In a recent case, the Third Circuit affirmed an order requiring the insurer to defend an underlying case under a professional liability policy. I thought the analysis was interesting.

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A New Argument in a Case Is Not a “Claim” for Insurance Purposes

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Claims-made insurance policies, especially in professional liability and financial lines, have been around for decades. Most policyholders and insurers understand the purpose of a claims-made policy compared to an occurrence-based policy. Yet every so often a case comes along that raises a new wrinkle about claims-made coverage. In a recent case before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals the court had to determine whether a new argument made in an ongoing lawsuit was an independent “claim” for purposes of a claims-made professional liability policy.

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Unambiguous Intellectual Property Exclusion Means No Coverage

While there is a prevailing sentiment out there that insurance policies are filled with ambiguities, the truth is quite the opposite. Where a relevant insurance provision is unambiguous, courts will construe it as such. That’s just what happened in a recent case before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

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