Goldberg Segalla

All articles by Goldberg Segalla

 

Wisconsin Top Court Limits “Knowing Violation” Exclusion By Looking Beyond Facts Alleged in Complaint

In a decision that could expand the scope of the duty to defend, the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently held that a “knowing violation of the rights of another” exclusion did not apply even though the facts alleged suggested that it should. The court looked beyond the four corners of the complaint, which alleged willful and intentional conduct, and held that the insurer owed a duty to defend because some causes of action asserted in the complaint could potentially be satisfied
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The Insurance and Reinsurance Report Named Best Niche and Specialty Blog of 2018!

We are pleased to announce that the Insurance and Reinsurance Report blog has been named the best legal news blog in the country and earned 5th place overall in The Expert Institute’s Best Legal Blog Contest for 2018! The Expert Institute — a leading legal service provider for identifying, verifying, and retaining expert witnesses — holds this annual contest to vet and recognize the best legal blogs out of the thousands that are on the web. In the 2018 Best Legal Blogs
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The Insurance & Reinsurance Report: Year in Review — Why We Think It’s the Best Legal News Blog of 2018

Goldberg Segalla’s Insurance and Reinsurance Report is in the running for The Expert Institute’s Best Legal News Blog of 2018. Fans and readers of the Report and others who stay abreast of developments in the legal blogosphere are invited to vote for the best legal news blog through the following link: The Insurance & Reinsurance Report Honored to be in the running and by the support we’ve seen thus far, we took this opportunity to reflect on some of the
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We Need Your Vote!

Attention blog readers! We are proud to announce that our Insurance and Reinsurance Report blog has made it to the voting round in The Expert Institute’s 2018 Best Legal Blog Contest! Over the past month, this contest received thousands of nominations, which were then narrowed to the “most exciting, entertaining, and informative legal blogs online today.” The polls are now open – if you like our blog, please consider voting. How it works: You can submit one vote per blog.
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Compliance Deadline Approaching for NY Cybersecurity Regulation

A key compliance date for the NY Cybersecurity Regulation is quickly approaching. September 4, 2018 will serve as the third key implementation date for individuals and companies (Covered Entities) governed by New York’s Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies (23 NYCRR Part 500). Unless the Covered Entity qualifies for one of the exemptions under 23 NYCRR 500.19, by September 4, all Covered Entities must have completed the following*: create and maintain systems that can reconstruct material financial transactions to support and maintain
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Streaming Insight: Q&A With Jonathan L. Schwartz

Goldberg Segalla marked spring 2018 with the launch of Timely Notice, our podcast that addresses in an engaging and easily digestible way many of the critical and cutting-edge issues facing insurance industry professionals as well as in-house and outside legal counsel. We sat down with Jonathan L. Schwartz, partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services Practice Group, to discuss what inspired him to create the podcast, what listeners will learn, and what the future holds. What sparked the idea for Timely Notice, and what are
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A Window Opens? Are Defective Product Construction Defect Claims Covered Under Pennsylvania Law?

A recent decision from a Pennsylvania court highlights tension in Pennsylvania law regarding whether a construction defect claim involving consequential damages caused by a defective product involves a covered “occurrence.” Sapa Extrusions, Inc. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 2018 WL 2045496 (M.D. Pa. May 1, 2018). In this coverage action, the insured, a window frame manufacturer, sought a declaratory judgment that it was owed coverage for an underlying action brought by a customer that used the window frames to manufacture
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Insurer Obligated to Provide Coverage for DWI Accident Resulting from Fundraising Event

In Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company v. Central Terminal Restoration Corp., 2018 WL 992312 (2d Cir. 2018), the Second Circuit found coverage existed for a car accident which resulted from the overserving of alcohol to a patron at an event because it held that the ensuing consequences were unintentional. On April 1, 2013, Central Terminal Restoration Corp. (CTRC) held a fundraising event in association with Dyngus Day, a traditional post-Easter festival that attracts tens of thousands of Polish Americans to Buffalo,
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The Current Status of Brexit: Ramifications for the Global Insurance Industry

What is Brexit and What are its Legal Ramifications for the UK? The 28 nation “single market” received a stunning blow when the UK voted, in a referendum on June 23, 2016, to terminate its membership and, subsequently, its passport-free, duty-free, trade and other advantages. From a legal perspective, under the January 2017 Miller decision by UK’s Supreme Court, Parliament has the right to thwart Brexit by the court’s affirmation that the Brexit referendum is not legally binding until Parliament
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Better Late Than Never — Time to Get Those Cybersecurity Certifications of Compliance into NYDFS

If you are an individual or company regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), you may have received an email from NYDFS reminding you to submit your Certification of Compliance as soon as possible. New York’s relatively new cybersecurity regulation, 23 NYCRR 500 (the Regulation), requires all people and companies covered by the Regulation (Covered Entities) to file an annual statement by February 15 certifying that the entity was compliant (Certification of Compliance) with the Regulation
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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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Current Events in Insurance Coverage — Reflections on ABA TIPS ICLC Meeting

The ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section’s Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee’s mid-year meeting is always a great opportunity to learn about emerging issues and recent developments in coverage law and to meet with leaders of the insurance industry and insurance coverage bar. This year’s meeting was no exception. I attended the meeting, where I led a panel discussion on emerging issues in D&O and Professional Liability coverage law. The panel, made up of thought leaders from the insurance brokerage,
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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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Massachusetts Court Holds that All Excess Policies are Created Equal

In Massachusetts, competing excess insurance policies will apply equally to provide excess coverage even if one policy is a true excess policy and the other is a hybrid policy that provides either primary or excess coverage depending on the circumstances. See Great Divide Ins. Co. v. Lexington Ins. Co., 2017 WL 4969942 (Mass. Nov. 1, 2017). In a November 1, 2017 opinion, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held that the plain language of the insurance policies was the determinative
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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules that Bad Faith Does Not Require Proof of an Insurer’s Self-Interest or Ill-Will

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled today that the Pennsylvania bad faith statute does not require a plaintiff to prove that an insurer was motivated by self-interest or ill-will when denying benefits under an insurance policy. Instead, the court’s decision in Rancosky v. Washington National Insurance Company adopted the standard established by the Pennsylvania Superior Court 23 years ago in Terletsky v. Prudential Property & Casualty Company, under which a bad faith claim is established by clear and convincing evidence that the insurer did not
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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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Insurance Making a Summer Splash in Hot Washington, D.C. — Senate Votes to Start Healthcare Debate and Trump Signs Covered Agreement with EU

Amidst the sizzling news of investigations and conversations about North Korea and terrorism, insurance is making its own headlines in the nation’s capital this summer. Congress is debating repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Trump Administration has signed off on the Covered Agreement with the European Union. Most of the insurance news out of Washington, D.C. is centered on Republican efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. Several packages are currently on the table. In May
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Pennsylvania Court Rejects Manifestation Trigger for Latent Property Damage Claims

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania recently determined that the multiple trigger rule, and not the manifestation rule, is the proper standard to use when determining whether an insurance policy is triggered in an environmental property damage claim involving a long latency period between exposure and manifestation. See Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association Insurance Company v. Johnson Matthey, Inc., et al., 2017 WL 1418401 (Pa. Commw. Ct. Apr. 21, 2017), This decision, which is at odds with statements by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
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Congress Rolls Back FCC Privacy Regulations

On March 28, 2017, Congress passed legislation (S.J. Res. 34) that rolled back privacy regulations recently adopted by the Federal Communications Commission. The resolution passed the Senate by a vote of 50-48 and the House by a voted of 215 to 205. This is one of several sets of regulations Congress is rolling back under the authority of the Congressional Review Act of 1996. Under this statute, Congress can nullify administrative regulations by simply passing a joint resolution of disapproval.
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The NAIC Appeals to the Secretary of the Treasury Over the Covered Agreement

While the U.S. and EU governments are deliberating on whether to accept the negotiated Covered Agreement (Agreement), state insurance regulators in the U.S. are continuing to express concerns about the Agreement. In February 2017, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) testified before Congress against the Agreement. On March 15, 2017, the NAIC continued these efforts by submitting a letter to the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin detailing the NAIC’s concerns. One of the NAIC’s central concerns centers on the
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ELANY Publishes Practical Tips on Applying New York’s New Cybersecurity Regulation to “Unique Situations”

There has been a lot of commentary on New York’s new regulation entitled Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies (23 NYCRR 500) (the Regulation) which went into effect on March 1, 2017. On March 16, 2017, The Excess Line Association of New York (ELANY) released Bulletin 2017-12 which contains some practical guidance for insurance producers that will face some “unique situations” not addressed in the other commentary. Specifically, the bulletin refers to insurance producers that “may not meet the technical
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New York Issues Final Cybersecurity Regulation

On February 13, 2017, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) adopted the final version of its first-of-its-kind cybersecurity regulation, “Cybersecurity Requirements For Financial Services Companies” (23 NYCRR 500). This regulation took effect on March 1, 2017. The final regulation reflects several of the comments offered during the final comment period that concluded on January 27, 2017. For a prior list of significant changes from the initial version to the second version, please see our blog post located here.
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Is an Argument Challenging Precedent Bad Faith? Pennsylvania Bad Faith Ruling in Asbestos Coverage Case Raises This Important Question

Since 1993, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in the J.H. France case has dictated that the continuous trigger rule be applied to determine what insurance policies are triggered for asbestos injury claims. Under J.H. France, coverage is provided by policies in effect from the time the claimant was first exposed to asbestos until injury manifests as mesothelioma. The J.H. France court’s decision was expressly based on the science behind mesothelioma, which indicates that mesothelioma is a continuous, progressive injury that
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Ninth Circuit Confirms the FDIC Cannot Avoid the Insured-Versus-Insured Exclusion

In recent years, courts frequently have held that a D&O policy’s “insured-versus-insured” exclusion bars coverage for claims by the FDIC, as receiver of a failed bank, against the bank’s former directors and officers because the FDIC stands in the shoes of the insured bank. Therefore, the FDIC has tried to circumvent this exclusion by arguing that a policy’s shareholder derivative suit exception to the insured-versus-insured exclusion brought the FDIC’s claim back within coverage. A recent decision by the Ninth Circuit
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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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President Trump Takes Aim at Affordable Care Act; New York Governor Responds

Within hours of taking the Presidential oath of office, President Donald J. Trump issued his first executive order and it was directed at the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The executive order formalized the Trump Administration’s policy to “seek the prompt repeal of the [“ACA”].” President Trump then directed executive department heads to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement” of the [ACA] that would impose a fiscal or regulatory burden
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Anticipated Decision in Heinz Rescission Litigation Upholds Ruling Voiding $25 Million Insurance Policy Due to Misrepresentations in the Application

In a much anticipated decision, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the rescission of H.J. Heinz Company’s $25 million production contamination insurance policy because Heinz made material misrepresentations concerning previous product contamination claims when it applied for the policy. H.J. Heinz Company v. Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Company, No. 16-1447 (3d Cir. Jan. 11, 2017). The fact that Heinz’s application misrepresented its history of prior contaminations losses was clear. The insurer’s application asked Heinz to disclose past complaints, recommendations,
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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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Death of Carrie Fisher Likely Triggers Largest Contractual Performance Indemnity Policy

On December 27, 2016, Carrie Fisher, who was perhaps best known as Princess/General Leia Organa in the Star Wars Universe, passed away after a heart attack. As Star Wars fans and the world mourn Ms. Fisher’s passing, questions are swirling about how the Star Wars franchise will handle her death and the future of Princess Leia. Ms. Fisher finished shooting Episode VIII prior to her passing and was expected to have a part in Episode IX. What is clear now
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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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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,
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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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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.
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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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Fax Blast From the Past: Third Circuit Denies Coverage in TCPA Action

The Third Circuit denied coverage for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), while also ruling on a jurisdictional question regarding the amount in controversy applicable to declaratory judgment actions when they emanate from a class action lawsuit. This case reminds that even without a TCPA exclusion, blast fax suits may not present covered property damage or advertising injury claims. In Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Stevens & Ricci, Inc., No. 15-2080, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16182, (3d Cir.
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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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Presumed Innocent: But Rescission Still Available to Void Coverage Due to Misrepresentations

A court rescinded a Georgia attorney’s professional liability coverage after his partner stole more than a million dollars from clients and lied about it on their firm’s insurance application. A federal district court in Georgia granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment earlier this month, permitting rescission of the professional liability insurance policy issued to the attorney’s law firm. ProAssurance Cas. Co. v. Smith, No. CV415-051, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105033 (S.D. Ga. Aug. 9, 2016). From 2013 to 2014, the attorney’s
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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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