National Insurance Law Forum

National Insurance Law Forum

Published By The Attorneys of the National Insurance Law Forum

Tag Archives: insurance

Washington Supreme Court decision raises questions for law firms that both represent insurers and defend the insurer’s policyholders

Posted in Duty to Defend, Liability Coverage, Recent Cases
The Washington Supreme Court recently decided Arden v. Forsberg & Umlauf, P.S., 2017 Wash. LEXIS 911 (September 14, 2017), a case involving the ethical obligations of law firms retained by an insurer to defend the insurer’s policyholder.  While the Court of Appeals had held that a law firm with an insurer for a client may… Continue Reading

Xia v. ProBuilders Specialty

Posted in Bad Faith/Extra Contractual, Liability Coverage, Recent Cases
Insurers should be aware of the recent Washington State Supreme Court decision in Xia v. ProBuilders Specialty, No. 92436-8 ___ Wn.2d ____ (2017) handed down on April 27, 2017. The decision may have significant impacts not only in coverage litigation regarding environmental contamination, but across a broad spectrum of liability claims under CGL policies. In short, the Washington State Supreme Court… Continue Reading

THE OREGON COURT OF APPEALS ADDRESSES ESTOPPEL REGARDING THE ENFORCEMENT OF SUIT LIMITATION PROVISIONS AND AN INSURER’S DUTY OF GOOD FAITH AND FAIR DEALING IMPLIED IN THE INSURANCE CONTRACT

Posted in Appeals, Recent Cases
The Oregon Court of Appeals, in Brockway v. Allstate Prop. And Cas. Ins. Co., 284 Or.App. 83 (March 1, 2017), recently ruled in favor of an insurance company’s reliance on a suit limitation policy provision, issuing an opinion that reinforces the value for an insurance company in the practice of reserving all of  its rights… Continue Reading

Washington’s Insurance Fair Conduct Act Does Not Create a Cause of Action for Regulatory Violations

Posted in Auto Liability Coverage, Liability Coverage, News, Recent Cases, Uncategorized
Today, in Isidoro Perez-Crisantos v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, the Washington Supreme Court held the Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA) did not “create[] a new and independent private cause of action for violation” of  the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) “in the absence of any unreasonable denial of coverage or benefits.” This case arose… Continue Reading

Arden v. Forsberg & Umlauf

Posted in Appeals, Recent Cases
Washington’s Supreme Court Grants Review of Court of Appeals’ Decision Finding No Conflict of Interest for Law Firms that Represent Insurers and Defend Insurers’ Policyholders   We previously reported here on the Court of Appeals’ decision in Arden v. Forsberg & Umlauf, 193 Wn. App. 731, 373 P.3d (2016) on May 5, 2015. On September… Continue Reading

Exhausting Policy Limits

Posted in Duty to Indemnify, Excess and Umbrella Insurance, Liability Coverage, Recent Cases
As insurance is depleted for ongoing claims like asbestos bodily injury and long-term environmental pollution, how an insured is to use its layers of insurance is an issue.  The California Supreme Court has been asked to weigh in on the question of whether “horizontal exhaustion” or “vertical exhaustion” principles should apply to excess and umbrella… Continue Reading

Client Questions About Settlement

Posted in Client Questions About Settlement
One of the most common mistakes that insurance adjusters, and even some attorney practitioners, make during settlement negotiations is failing to anticipate all of the essential elements of the settlement agreement. Such oversights may result in significant negative consequences for insurers and their insureds. This is particularly true in the context of negotiating casualty claims.… Continue Reading

Excess Insurance: Issues Regarding Exhausting the Underlying Policy Limits

Posted in Duty to Indemnify, Excess and Umbrella Insurance
A basic premise of excess insurance coverage is that it applies only after the underlying insurance limits have been exhausted.  Problems may arise, however, when a primary insurer refuses to pay the full limits toward a claim that exceeds the underlying policy limits.  An insured may be left with either (1) settling with the primary… Continue Reading

When can an Insurer’s Representations during Policy Negotiations Prevent Enforcement of the Written Policy Terms? Recent Oregon case Deardorff v. Farnsworth offers insight.

Posted in Liability Coverage, Recent Cases
In Oregon, under certain circumstances when an insurer denies a defense, an insured may rely upon the doctrines of estoppel and oral binder to avoid the written terms of the policy.  Estoppel precludes an insurer, based on its acts, conduct, or silence when there is a duty to speak, from asserting a right that otherwise… Continue Reading

Insurance for Technology Problems

Posted in Uncategorized
In our increasingly digital age, we should expect a corresponding increase in the number of insurance claims involving lost data, security breaches, inadvertent dissemination of private information, and similar issues related to technology.  However, the usual insurance policies – such as general liability, first-party property insurance and errors and omissions coverage – are not a… Continue Reading

Obstacles to Class Actions on Insurance Matters

Posted in Bad Faith/Extra Contractual
Typically class actions and claims for insurance bad faith do not mix. This is for the simple reason that insurance bad faith actions usually involve individualized facts, individualized policies and separate claims handling. Uniform claims, therefore, are less prevalent in insurance bad faith, and thus less likely to satisfy the class action requirements under Civil Rule 23(a) of numerosity, commonality, typicality and adequate representation. However, class actions can nevertheless play a role in insurance bad faith claims and insurance coverage cases.… Continue Reading

NY Legislature Passes Bill Regulating Insurance Certificates

Posted in News
Recently passed legislation, if signed by New York’s governor, will regulate the use of insurance certificates in New York. A top legislative priority for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, Inc., the bill would, among other things, clarify that insurance certificates don’t alter the scope of coverage provided by insurance policies, and would… Continue Reading

ALI Adopts Tentative Draft No. 1

Posted in News
The American Law Institute voted yesterday to adopt most of Chapters One and Two of the proposed Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance.   Although the spirited debate concerning some of these provisions prevented the ALI from considering Section 16-23 of Tentative Draft No. 1, the ALI did approve those portions of the draft dealing with principles… Continue Reading

Massachusetts Insurance Appellate Update

Posted in News
  The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts heard oral argument this week in three interesting insurance coverage disputes.   Rulings are likely by Labor Day. On Tuesday, a policyholder argued in Golchin v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., SJC-11305 that a Worcester Superior Court judge erred in granting Liberty Mutual’s motion for judgment on the pleadings on… Continue Reading

New Year – New Way of Writing

Posted in Uncategorized
Happy new year!  With every new year come resolutions to do better, be nicer, eat healthier, exercise more, work harder …. How about be a better writer (or demand that your attorneys write for a changing audience)! At the DRI’s annual insurance coverage meeting in New York last month, one of the most interesting topics for… Continue Reading

EPL Policies Should Be Reviewed With FLSA Damages In Mind

Posted in Recent Cases
Employers—who are often sued for discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, and statutory violations—have increasingly turned to Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPL) to protect themselves against a coverage gap for employment-related claims.  In turn, coverage disputes under EPL policies have led to litigation over how the policies should be interpreted and administered.  It should come as… Continue Reading

Forum Selected as LexisNexis Top 50 Insurance Blog for 2011

Posted in News
We’re pleased to learn that the National Insurance Law Forum has been selected as a Top Insurance Blog for 2011 by the LexisNexis Insurance Law Community.  Many thanks to LexisNexis staff, the Insurance Law Community’s Advisory Board and our readers for your continued interest in our blog.  A complete list of Top Inusrance Blogs for 2011 can be found… Continue Reading

Complaint Alleging Trespass But Not Physical Injury Does Not Trigger Duty To Defend

Posted in Recent Cases
  In Metropolitan Casualty Ins. Co. v. Birmingham, Case No., C09-726RAJ, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82838 (W.D. Wash., August 13, 2010), the court found that the insurer had no duty to defend the insured because there were no allegations of property damage or personal injury. In the underlying case Birmingham requested a declaration regarding a property… Continue Reading