Document of Insurance Policy, Life; Health, car, travel,  for background

No Complaint, No Duty to Defend: An Insurer’s Duty To Defend Does Not Arise from Unfiled Draft Complaints

In Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. v. Pace Suburban Bus Service, 2016 IL App (1st) 151659, the Illinois Appellate Court provided keen insights into when the duty to defend is triggered and when an action for equitable contribution can be maintained. As background, Pace Suburban Bus Services and Countryside Association for People with Disabilities entered into a leasing agreement whereby Pace would provide Countryside with a van, which would be driven by a Countryside employee, for the purposes of transporting disabled
Continue reading...

Wooden judge gavel isolated on white background

Seventh Circuit Recognizes Illinois Law to Allow Extrinsic Evidence in Evaluating an Insurer’s Duty to Defend

The Seventh Circuit recently handed down a decision encouraging Illinois courts to consider evidence beyond the complaint and the insurance policy when evaluating an insurer’s duty to defend. In Landmark American Insurance Co. v. Hilger, 838 F.3d 821 (7th Cir. 2016), the Seventh Circuit reviewed a district court’s judgment on the pleadings favor of a purported insured in a declaratory judgment suit filed by Landmark American Insurance Company. At issue was whether Peter Hilger was covered as an insured in
Continue reading...


Proof’s in the Pudding: Sexual Misconduct Exclusions Do Not Preclude Coverage for Defamation Claims, Massachusetts Federal District Court Says

A federal district court in Massachusetts determined that Bill Cosby’s insurer has a duty to defend the former entertainment icon in three defamation suits despite potentially applicable policy exclusions because the defamation claims did not necessarily “aris[e] out of” sexual misconduct. In AIG Property Casualty Co. v. Green, Civil Action No. 15-30111-MGM, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154881 (D. Mass. Nov. 8, 2016), the court dismissed an insurer’s attempt to obtain a determination that it had no duty to defend Cosby,
Continue reading...

Dental insurance form on the wooden table.

Cease and Desist: Is This the Beginning of the End for Concierge Medicine Practices?

A small but growing trend to regulate the practice of “concierge medicine” (or “retainer medicine”) could significantly impact the healthcare and insurance industries. On October 11, 2016, the State of Washington Insurance Commissioner issued a Cease and Desist Order against a dental practice in that state, David Ford, DDS dba David Ford Dental. The order obliges the dental practice to immediately cease and desist from: Engaging in or transacting the unauthorized business of insurance or acting as an unregistered health
Continue reading...

Washington, DC at the White House.

What Would the Insurance Provisions of Dodd-Frank Look Like Under the Trump Administration?

The incoming Trump Administration has already signaled its intent to repeal, or at the very least reform, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank). To date, President-elect Trump has not signaled what changes he would make with respect to the insurance provisions of Dodd-Frank.  However, there is a bill in Congress that provides at least some insight as to what these changes might look like. In September 2016, Congressman Jed Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial
Continue reading...

Hail in Chicago during spring afternoon.

Supreme Court of Texas Puts a Dent in Policyholders’ Demand for Discovery of Other Claims in Hail Storm MDL

On October 28, 2016, the Supreme Court of Texas squelched a trial court order granting a policyholders’ motion to compel that reached its bench by mandamus petition. The dispute arose out of multidistrict litigation (MDL) involving claims for property damage caused by the 2012 hail storms that tormented Hidalgo County, Texas. The policyholders sought compensatory and extra-contractual damages against several insurers for underpayment of insurance claims. A pretrial court appointed by the MDL panel granted the policyholders’ motion to compel
Continue reading...

Security Data Protection Inofrmation Lock Save Private Concept

Comments on NYSDFS Cybersecurity Regulation Begin Pouring In

On September 28, 2016, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) released for comment a proposed new regulation entitled Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies (23 N.Y.C.R.R. Part 500). Various industry groups have offered comments and expressed concerns about some of its requirements. These concerns include the costs of compliance and the scope of entities regulated by the proposed rule. Among the organizations offering comments are the Excess Lines Association of New York (ELANY) and the American Association
Continue reading...

brown gavel and open book on a wooden table of the law in the courtroom

Just Down the Hall — D.C. Appeals Court Hears Appeal Over MetLife’s SIFI Status

On March 30, 2016, Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia stripped MetLife of its designation as a nonbank systemically important financial institution (nonbank SIFI). She held that the designation was arbitrary and capricious as the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) failed to follow proper administrative procedures during the evaluation process. Just over a week later, FSOC walked down the hall of the U.S. Courthouse at 333 Constitution Avenue, NW and filed its
Continue reading...

Bricks in need of tuck pointing

Court Finds Ambiguity Over When Property Damage Commenced

Ambiguity surrounding the term “commencing” led a court to deny an insurer’s motion seeking to dismiss an insured’s property damage claim, despite the insured’s inability to state when the property damage at issue first occurred. In a question of first impression, a federal district court in Illinois denied an insurer’s motion for summary judgment earlier this month, ruling that the term “commencing” during the policy period was ambiguous when applied to the circumstances of the case. Temperature Serv. Co. v.
Continue reading...

Life insurance policy and cash

Seventh Circuit: No Insurable Interest, No Problem (For the Beneficiary, That Is!)

The Seventh Circuit recently affirmed a district court decision upholding payment under a life insurance policy purchased by a securities intermediary. The decision first addressed the common law’s prohibition on wagering contracts, or stranger-originated life insurance, and the traditional remedy which invalidates any such policy of insurance. However, this case was subject to Wisconsin law, whose legislature places the risk on the insurer for issuing a policy to someone without an insurable interest by refusing to invalidate such contracts. Specifically,
Continue reading...