Global Insurance Services Practice Group

All articles by Global Insurance Services Practice Group

 

New Wave of Products and Other Challenges to State Insurance Regulators: Reflections from ACI 14th Annual National Forum

The 14th annual National Forum on Insurance Regulation, sponsored by American Conference Institute, convened in New York City on March 7-8, 2018. This yearly event is a great opportunity to learn about emerging issues and recent developments in state insurance regulation from leaders of the insurance industry. This year’s Forum brought together senior officials of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC); state insurance commissioners; Chief Legal Officers of leading U.S. insurers, reinsurers and brokers; founders and CEOs from InsureTech
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Is the Joint Decision to Withdraw Met Life’s SIFI Designation a Hobson’s Choice?

With the consent of the Trump Administration, on Thursday, January 18, 2018, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), a Federal government organization established by Title I of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act during the Obama administration, and MetLife jointly filed a motion with in the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. FSOC empowers the government to designate non-banks as SIFI’s, which subjects them to heightened supervisory requirements by the Federal Reserve. The motion
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ACI Brexit Panel Preview: Four Key Issues for International Insurers

On March 8, 2018, at the 14th ACI National Forum on Insurance Regulation in New York City, I’ll be participating in a panel discussion on Brexit and its implications for the global insurance community. With Brexit’s implementation over a year away and many details left to be decided, insurance professionals and their legal counsel have been left with little more than speculation on the unprecedented event’s effects on their industry. Some central issues and concerns, however, are crystalizing. The following
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Changes to New York State Insurance Law Affect Auto Policies, Neonatal Intensive Care Coverage, and Exposures for Mortgage Guaranty Insurers

Frederick J. Pomerantz, a partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services and Insurance Regulatory Practice Groups, has authored three alerts on changes to New York State insurance regulations in the November 2017 edition of the Federation of Regulatory Counsel (FORC) Alerts. In the alerts, Fred details notable recent changes pertaining to private passenger auto policies, neonatal intensive care services, and exposures for mortgage guaranty insurers. Analysis of Non-Renewals of Private Passenger Auto Policies Effective October 23, 2017, Section 1, Paragraph
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DFS Partially Clarifies Who Qualifies for an Exemption Under Cybersecurity Regulation

By the terms of 23 NYCRR 500.19(e), Covered Entities that have determined they qualify for a limited exemption from compliance under 23 NYCRR 500.19(a)-(d) of New York’s new Cybersecurity Regulation — as of August 28, 2017 — are required to file a Notice of Exemption with the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) on or prior to September 28, 2017. The first compliance date of August 28, 2017 in New York’s cybersecurity regulation, and the date for Covered Entities
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“Twisting in the Wind: Covered Agreement Dangling by Uncertainty and Politics,” AIRROC Matters

In an article for AIRROC Matters,  Frederick J. Pomerantz examines the uncertain status of the “Covered Agreement,” a novel multilateral insurance agreement between the United States and the European Union. Early advocates hoped that the agreement would result in an “equivalency recognition” between U.S. and EU insurance regulatory systems. According to state insurance regulators, the agreement falls short of this, but does include provisions that would bring these insurance markets closer by eliminating obstacles for U.S. reinsurers doing business in the EU
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Excess Coverage Means Excess Coverage, Unless it Doesn’t: Texas Court Holds Umbrella Policy is Excess over a Primary Policy that is “Excess by Coincidence”

Not all excess coverage is created equal. Some excess coverage is true excess coverage of last resort. But other times, excess coverage is not. For example, a Texas Federal Court recently ruled that a true excess policy applied as excess over a CGL policy that was excess due to the circumstances of the underlying action. By way of background, Pace was the real estate manager for the property owner, Dolce. Pace was an insured under Dolce’s CGL policy, with $1
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New York Court Denies Reinstatement of STOLI Policies for Lack of Standing, Finds Issue of Fact on Good Faith and Fair Dealing

The plaintiff was an investment trust that purchased life insurance contracts. It brought the instant action seeking damages for the insurer’s alleged breach of nine lapsed life insurance policies on three different individuals with a collective face value of over $80 million. It was undisputed that all nine policies were pieces of a “Stranger Originated Life Insurance” or “STOLI” transaction. Although purchasing life insurance with the intent of selling it to strangers became illegal in 2009, these transactions were legal at the time the policies in
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EU and U.S. Negotiators Reach Covered Agreement

On January 13, 2017, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and former U.S Trade Representative Michael Froman notified Congressional leaders that U.S. negotiators reached a covered agreement with EU officials entitled “Bilateral Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America On Prudential Measures Regarding Insurance and Reinsurance” (Covered Agreement). The covered agreement covers three main areas of prudential insurance supervision: 1) group supervision; 2) reinsurance; and 3) exchange of information between supervisory authorities. The U.S. Treasury Department
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NYDFS Issues Updated Cybersecurity Regulation

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) recently issued an updated version of its proposed cybersecurity regulation, “Cybersecurity Requirements For Financial Services Companies” (23 NYCRR 500). The updated proposed regulation reflects several of the comments offered during the initial public notice and comment period that concluded on November 14, 2016. Some of the most noteworthy changes in the revision are as follows: Section 500.04 — NYDFS clarified that while a Covered Entity must designate a qualified individual to perform
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No Coverage for Innocent Insureds: West Virginia Supreme Court Decision Proves the Smallest Words Continue to Have Huge Impacts on Coverage

The distinction between the terms “the insured” and “any insured” in an insurance policy is a critical one and continues to spark coverage litigation. This distinction was key to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia’s recent decision denying coverage to parents sued in a wrongful death action arising from murder committed by their minor children. Answering certified questions from the federal court, the court held that the parents’ homeowners policies did not provide coverage because exclusions barring coverage
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Hold the Sauce: Insurer Must Indemnify Insured for Trade Disparagement and Defamation Claims Arising Out of Indian Sauce Recipe Dispute

Rass Corporation v. The Travelers Companies, Inc., No. 15-P-358, 2016 Mass. App. LEXIS 163 (Nov. 10, 2016), represents a continuation of Massachusetts law in the context of an insurer’s duty to defend, indemnify, and settle in good faith. Since the underlying settlement included covered and non-covered claims, the court concluded The Travelers Companies, Inc. and Travelers Property Casualty Companies of America were obligated to indemnify Rass Corporation for the amount the trial court allocated to covered claims. As background, Ranbir
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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,
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Don’t Skip Steps When Analyzing the Foundation for a Covered Claim: No Publication and No Use of Advertising Ideas Means No Duty to Defend Beauty School Dispute

Desabato v. Assurance Co. of America et al., No. 2:15-cv-484, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135389 (W.D. Pa. Sept. 30, 2016) represents a continuation of Pennsylvania law in the context of an insurer’s duty to defend personal and advertising injury claims. As articulated in Desabato, Pennsylvania adheres to a strict four-corners analysis of an insurer’s duty to defend. Since the underlying complaint failed to allege the elements of defamation or misappropriation of advertising ideas, the court held Assurance Company of America,
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Insurers Beware: The Illinois Department of Insurance Issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Regarding Knowledge of Misrepresentations and False Warranties

In August, the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) proposed its second rule on misrepresentations and false warranties in less than two years. Citing various concerns, the DOI withdrew its December 2014 proposed rule nearly a year ago, in October 2015. The impetus for the new proposed rule appears to be the DOI’s perception that insurers are not considering “readily available information” before seeking to rescind insurance policies. The new proposed rule on misrepresentations would be promulgated as Ill. Admin. Code
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No, No, No: No Accident, No Property Damage, No Duty to Defend Under Illinois Law

Westfield Insurance Co. v. West Van Buren, LLC, et al., 2016 IL App (1st) 140862 represents a continuation of Illinois law in the context of an insurer’s duty to defend construction defect claims. As articulated in Westfield, accidental events are required to trigger a duty to defend and shoddy workmanship does not constitute property damage. In addition, since the underlying complaint did not seek damages for any personal property damage, the Illinois Appellate Court held Westfield Insurance Company had no
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Leaders of Major House Committee Wade into Equivalency Discussions

On August 17, 2016, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee waded into the ongoing discussions between U.S. and EU leaders regarding equivalency with the EU’s Solvency II and negotiation of a covered agreement. Chairman Kevin Brady and Ranking Member Sander Levin sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and United States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman expressing concern that Solvency II “unfairly discriminates against U.S. insurance and reinsurance (“(re)insurance”) business.” EU regulators
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Looking for Balance in Principle-Based Reserving

In a recent article in Law360, Frederick J. Pomerantz and Aaron J. Aisen, attorneys in Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services Practice Group, provide a comprehensive overview of Principle-Based Reserving and the reasoning behind the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ decision to adopt this new system.  The NAIC recently announced it adopted the recommendation of the Principle-Based Reserving Implementation Task Force to switch to PBR starting Jan. 1, 2017. As Fred and Aaron write in their analysis, “There are still a number of outstanding issues
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Seventh Circuit Dispatches Insurer’s Coverage Defenses Against Ambulance Company

The Seventh Circuit affirmed a district court’s summary judgment in favor of an insured, finding that the insured may qualify as being in a “joint venture” with the named insured. In American Alternative Insurance Corp. v. Metro Paramedic Services, Inc. (Jul. 12, 2016), the issue confronting the court was whether allegations in the underlying complaint that the named insured and putative insured were engaged in a joint venture also satisfied the policy’s use of the term “joint venture,” at least
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Change in Court Rules Could Increase Legal Costs of Connecticut-Licensed Insurers Appearing Before Commissioner

The State of Connecticut recently revised Section 2-16 of the Connecticut Superior Court Rules to require that an attorney not admitted in the State of Connecticut be admitted pro hac vice prior to appearing on behalf of a client before the Connecticut Insurance Department or any other state or municipal government agency. As with any pro hac vice admission in Connecticut, out-of-state attorneys will also be required to retain local counsel as a condition of any appearance. This represents a
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Insurer Accused of Having Ace Up its Sleeve: Insurer Estopped from Relying on Sublimit Due to Defense Counsel’s Failure to Supplement Discovery Responses in Tort Lawsuit

In Harwell v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. of Ohio, 2016 IL App (1st) 152036, the Illinois Appellate Court refused to allow Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company to assert a policy sublimit because defense counsel retained by Fireman’s Fund to represent its insured in the underlying tort lawsuit failed to inform the tort claimant that the sublimit, and not the full limit, applied. As background, Brian Harwell was injured while working at a construction project supervised by Kipling Development Corporation as a
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NYDFS Issues Circular Letters Pertaining to Coverage for Women’s Health Issues

In the last four months, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has issued three letters relating to coverage issues associated with women’s health. First, on April 25, 2016, NYDFS issued Insurance Circular Letter No. 1 (2016) to remind insurers that federal law “requires group health plans and issuers offering group or individual health insurance coverage to provide, with no copayment, coinsurance or deductible, preventive services that have a rating of ‘A’ or ‘B’ in the current recommendations
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And Then There Were Two — GE Capital No Longer a Nonbank SIFI

GE Capital is no longer a nonbank SIFI. The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) formally announced on June 29, 2016 that it voted unanimously on June 28, 2016 to rescind the designation. In conjunction with the vote, FSOC released a 23-page opinion outlining the basis for its decision. In short, FSOC determined that GE “executed significant divestitures, transformed its funding model, and implemented a corporate reorganization.” It determined that “these and other changes at GE . . . have significantly
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Wildfire Smoke Constitutes “Direct Physical Loss”

An Oregon federal court decision deemed “air” physical property covered by a property insurance policy, in holding that wildfire smoke infiltration of an outdoor theater caused a physical loss of property. The policyholder, an outdoor theater, claimed it suffered a property loss because it had to cancel several shows when smoke from nearby wildfires filled its audience seating and stage areas. Although the wildfires caused ash and soot to accumulate on outdoor seating and flooring, and in ventilation, lighting and
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Federal Reserve Takes Steps on Capital Standards for Nonbank SIFIs

The passage of the Dodd-Frank Act led to an increased role for federal financial regulators in regulating insurance companies. While insurance companies are still primarily regulated at the state level, certain insurance companies also qualify for federal regulation. For example, Dodd-Frank explicitly requires that the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) regulate all financial institutions designated as systemically important financial institutions (nonbank SIFIs) by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). Currently, FSOC has designated two insurance companies as nonbank SIFIs: Prudential and
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EPA Inquiries Under CERCLA Trigger the Duty to Defend . . . To The End

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the unique liability regime of CERCLA qualifies a request for information under the statutory scheme as a “suit” within the meaning of general liability insurance policies, thereby triggering an insurer’s duty to defend its insured. The court also held that this duty to defend continues until the EPA issues its final Record of Decision. The insured cement company ran two of its cement plants on an Oregon Superfund Site. In 2008, the EPA
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Citizenship of Unincorporated Associations: Insurers Warned to Take Consistent Positions on Diversity Jurisdiction

Certain insurers must now give pause to the common practice of filing in or removing to federal court on the basis of diversity. The U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon recently mirrored the majority of federal jurisdictions in ruling that reciprocal insurance exchanges are unincorporated associations, which are deemed to be a citizen of every state in which it has members, or policyholders, regardless of whether those policyholders are involved in the litigation. In Staggs v. Farmers Insurance
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Former FIFA Executive Entitled to Criminal Defense Costs in Bribery Case; D&O Insurers Required to Pay

Eduardo Li, one defendant of a widespread racketeering and fraud prosecution against FIFA and its members, brought this case seeking a declaration his insurers have to pay and advance his criminal defense costs regarding those prosecutions. The Eastern District of New York Court found that the insurers must immediately reimburse and advance legal costs for Li under a directors and officers liability policy. Eduardo Li and other members of FIFA are the subject of criminal actions for corruption related to
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Defense Counsel’s Billing Records Are Discoverable When an Insured Seeks Payment of Attorney’s Fees for Bad Faith

While one may expect that an insurer opposing an award of attorney’s fees to a plaintiff in bad faith litigation would be entitled to review the billing records of the plaintiff’s attorney, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that an insurer’s defense counsel’s billing records are discoverable by the plaintiff. In Paton v. GEICO General Insurance Company, the plaintiff insured asserted a bad faith claim against her UM insurer and sought recovery of attorney’s fees. To support the reasonableness of
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A Short-Lived Victory For MetLife Over SIFI Designation?

Frederick J. Pomerantz and Aaron J. Aisen, attorneys in Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services Practice Group, analyzed the recent decision that granted MetLife’s motion to remove the non-bank SIFI designation imposed by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). The decision marked the first time a SIFI-designated company challenged the designation, which the court overturned on three grounds all based on principles of administrative law. As Fred and Aaron write in their analysis for Law360, “The implications of this decision for MetLife
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Federal Judge Overturns MetLife’s SIFI Designation

In a first-of-its-kind decision, U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted MetLife’s motion to remove the non-bank SIFI designation imposed by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). This is a highly significant case, as it represents the first time a SIFI-designated company has challenged the designation. However, the order and opinion are currently under seal, possibly due to the inclusion of confidential and proprietary information on both sides. The parties
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Rescission Available to Insurer Whose Insured Lied in Insurance Application About Use of Experimental Weight Loss Techniques

In Essex Insurance Company v. Galilee Medical Center S.C d/b/a MRI Lincoln Imaging Center, the insured, Galilee, represented to its insurer, Essex, that it did not offer any weight loss drugs to its patients. After a former patient brought suit against Galilee based on complications from injections of a weight loss drug, Essex sought to rescind its policy. The Seventh Circuit Court upheld summary judgment granted to Essex, finding that false statements made by Galilee provided a basis for rescission.
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Massachusetts’ Highest Court Rejects Targeted Tenders

Only three states have adopted the “targeted tender” rule. Massachusetts recently had the chance to join those ranks, but it firmly declined. The concept of “targeted tender” or “selective tender” allows a policyholder to single out one insurer among co-insurers and trigger only that insurer’s policy, leaving the insurer without entitlement to contribution from co-insurers. In Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania v. Great Northern Insurance Company, an employee reported his injury to the insured employer, which then notified
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GAO’s Update on ACA Enrollment Process: CMS Encouraged to Take Steps to Monitor Program Cost, Risk, and Performance

The issue of fraud is still alive and well with respect to the health care exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a new update with respect to fraud in the federal exchanges. In that report, the GAO recommended that the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) strengthen enrollment controls and manage Fraud Risk. The report notes that implementation of the new eligibility and enrollment provisions for the first year was
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Supreme Court in Transition: What Happens to the ACA Case?

On Saturday, February 13, 2016, United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the longest serving justice on the Supreme Court, died in his sleep while on a hunting trip in Texas. One of the big questions now is what happens to the cases currently before the Court, especially those cases that were largely expected to be decided 5-4 while Justice Scalia was alive. Among those high profile cases is another one on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Geneva College v.
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U.S. District Judge Explores the SIFI Designation Process

For the first time since the passage of Dodd-Frank, a U.S. District Judge is exploring the process by which the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) designates non-bank financial institutions as systemically important financial institutions (nonbank SIFIs). On February 10, 2016, U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia heard arguments in the matter of MetLife v. FSOC. In January 2015, MetLife filed a lawsuit challenging the FSOC’s designation of MetLife as a nonbank
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One at a Time! Anti-Stacking Provision Upheld

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied appellants’ attempts to classify the language of an anti-stacking provision ambiguous in Gohagen v. The Cincinnati Ins. Co., (8th Cir., January 6, 2016). The plaintiff was severely injured by a tree being removed by the policyholder.  He reached a settlement with the policyholder, which included the insurer’s payment of $1,000,000; that figure represented the per-occurrence limit under the commercial general liability policy (CGL). The policyholder also had a business owners package (BOP) with
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Ohio Brings Certificates of Insurance Closer to Home

Ohio recently passed House Bill 259, a law that aims to ensure that certificates of insurance accurately reflect the policies they represent. In the past, certificates that did not accurately reflect the insurance policy caused coverage disputes. The new measure attempts to cure this defect and gives the Ohio insurance regulator more jurisdiction to ensure that the certificate accurately reflects the policy — with one stated aim to protect agents and policyholders against insurance fraud. In passing this law, Ohio joins 24
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No Smoking! Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage For Claims Arising Out of “Smoky” Beverage

While Florida courts have typically refused to limit pollution exclusions within insurance policies to traditional environmental claims, a District Court in Florida has extended the application of such exclusions even further by finding that a pollution exclusion applies to claims against a bar for injuries allegedly caused by an “exotic” cocktail served by the bar. In Evanston Insurance Company v. Haven South Beach, LLC, et al., Case No. 15-20573 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 28, 2015), the insured, a bar, served an
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Nominates New DFS Superintendent

Governor Andrew Cuomo has nominated Maria T. Vullo as the new Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services. If confirmed by the New York State Senate, she would replace Benjamin Lawsky who resigned as Superintendent in June 2015. Ms. Vullo, an experienced litigator, is currently of counsel at Paul Weiss in its New York City office. She has over 25 years of litigation experience at the trial and appellate levels including at the United States Supreme Court and in U.S.
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Take My Word For It: Insurer Bound by Insured’s Oral Promise

It is rare that insurance coverage is provided based on an oral agreement. However, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently held that an additional insured endorsement allowed the policyholder to add insureds by oral agreement, regardless of when a written certificate of insurance verifying the addition was issued. The case illustrates the evidentiary dangers of broadly worded additional insured provisions that extend coverage by an oral agreement. In this case, the putative additional insured, Vita Food Products,
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A Supreme Lesson on Diligence and Equity: Court Bars Recovery of Equitable Lien Under ERISA Plan

The Supreme Court issued its decision in Montanile v. Board of Trustees of National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan , holding that the fiduciary could not enforce its equitable lien against general assets. The court reversed the Eleventh Circuit, finding that where a plan participant has obtained a settlement from a third party — but has dissipated the settlement on nontraceable items — the fiduciary cannot bring a suit under Section 502(a)(3) to attach the general assets of the participant
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Wrongful Debt-Collection is Not Wrongful Repossession; Insured is Not Covered

Parties to an insurance contract beware; a Missouri Court of Appeal’s analysis to determine the presence of an ambiguity in an insurance contract is more complex than meets the eye. In, Wolfe Automotive Group, LLC v. Universal Underwriters Insurance Company, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court for the Western District of Missouri’s decision denying that an insurer had a duty to defend its insured. The insured was a used-car dealership that had an umbrella policy that
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Supreme Court of Texas Declines to Adopt Incorporation Theory: But Destructive Repairs are Covered

Ruling on certified questions from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Texas has positioned the state as another jurisdiction to refuse to characterize mere incorporation of a defective component into a product or system as “physical injury” to property that would trigger coverage under a standard form CGL policy. The court also refused to narrowly apply the “impaired property” exclusion by rejecting the insured’s argument that the exclusion should be limited to those situations where the
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Non-Party’s Claim of Employment Relationship with Plaintiff Creates Question of Fact in DJ Action

A complaint clearly and repeatedly alleges the plaintiff was the employee of the defendant, but for purposes of the employment practices exclusion, was she really? At this point, it’s unclear after her “real” employer claims her as its own in the declaratory judgment action. Bikram Choudhury founded the popular Bikram (or hot yoga) in the 1970s. A former student accused Bikram of raping her in 2010. As Bikram’s legal counsel was looking into that rape accusation, she alleges that Bikram
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