New York’s Commercial Division is a sophisticated forum for resolving complex commercial disputes. The Commercial Division has many advantages over other forums: judges are hand-selected for their experience with commercial cases, discovery procedures are streamlined to save time and money, and dispute resolution is encouraged early and often. However, the several sets of overlapping rules governing practice in the Commercial Division can intimidate outsiders and trip up the uninformed.
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Directors and Officers (“D&O”) and cyber-related incidents continued to make headlines while ramped up regulatory enforcement and new legislation significantly altered the insurance landscape for both policyholders and insurers. Other noteworthy decisions reinforced the importance of foundational insurance coverage principals. Now that 2023 has wrapped, we highlight and review some of the most significant decisions and insurance developments that will continue to impact the world of insurance in 2024 and beyond.
Continue Reading Year in Review: Top Insurance Cases of 2023

Courts scrutinize a complaint’s factual allegations to decide whether the allegations trigger a duty to defend. [1] If the facts unambiguously exclude coverage, there is no duty to defend. [2] But what if the factual allegations fall within a policy exclusion, but the allegations are untrue or questionable? What if the true facts would mean the exclusion doesn’t apply? In that case, many courts have found that the insurer should base its decision on the policyholder’s version of the “true facts.” [3] An insurer can’t rely on the complaint’s allegations to deny coverage when the facts that the insurer knows or can ascertain show that the claim is covered. [4]Continue Reading Allegations Versus “True Facts”: Which Govern the Duty to Defend? Bonus! A Georgia Court Clears Up What the Meaning of “Is” Is

The Eleventh Circuit recently confirmed the rule that “other insurance” clauses should not be used to disadvantage policyholders. Nat’l Cas. Co. v. Georgia Sch. Bd. Ass’n – Risk Mgmt. Fund, No. 22-13779, 2023 WL 5977299, at *1 (11th Cir. Sept. 14, 2023). In a dispute between an insurance company and a public risk management fund, both insurance policies included “other insurance” clauses stating that each insurer would only provide excess insurance coverage where the policyholder is covered by other insurance. The district court found that the clauses were irreconcilable because both insurance policies could not provide only excess insurance coverage—at least one policy would need to provide primary coverage. Because of the conflict, the Georgia federal district court applied Georgia’s irreconcilable-clauses rule and held that each policy must provide coverage to the policyholder on a pro rata basis. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s application of Georgia’s irreconcilable-clauses rule.Continue Reading Insurance Fundamentals: “Other Insurance” Clauses

Insurers generally have a right to conduct a full, fair, and thorough investigation of a claim. Depending on policy language, one investigative tool available to insurers is the examination under oath, or an “EUO.” In an EUO, a representative of the policyholder is sworn-in, and an employee of or attorney for the insurer asks questions related to the claim. EUOs may be a condition precedent to coverage, meaning failure to appear and comply with a reasonable EUO request may void coverage for the claim. See, e.g., Quality Health Supply Corp. v. Nationwide Ins., No. 2021-06955, 2023 WL 3486573 (N.Y. App. Div. May 17, 2023); Raymond v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 614 F. Supp. 3d 1303 (N.D. Ga. 2022).Continue Reading The ABCs of EUOs

For many, the “metaverse” sounds like some obscure sci-fi fantasyland. You may be asking, where is it? How does one get there? Chances are, if you are reading this article on a screen then you are already interacting with what could be described as the metaverse. One thing is certain though, if the metaverse is

While COVID-19 dominated the insurance coverage landscape in 2021, it was not the only subject of significant decisions in the insurance space. Directors and Officers coverage (“D&O”) and cyber insurance continued to make headlines while other coverage lines left the industry questioning what is to come in 2022. We highlight a few of the most impactful trends and cases in this 2021 review, and we look forward to what 2022 may deliver in the world of insurance coverage.
Continue Reading Year in Review: Top Insurance Cases of 2021

Even an insurance practitioner’s grandmother would agree that an omitted comma can have dire consequences: compare “Let’s eat grandma with “Let’s eat, grandma.”  Yet, to the possible dismay of grammar purists and grandmothers, alike, and despite acknowledging that “the placement (or omission) of one comma can make the difference,” a federal court recently found that an omitted comma in an insurance policy provision had no impact on the policy’s meaning.
Continue Reading Grammatical Imprecision Continues to Fuel Coverage Disputes

Not surprisingly, COVID-19 business interruption insurance disputes dominated media headlines for most of 2020. Nonetheless, there were a number of other insurance rulings that will undoubtedly shape the coverage landscape. Policyholders enjoyed a number of significant wins including significant victories related to COVID-19 business interruption cases. The start of a new year gives us an