Policyholders purchase insurance policies as a safety net, promising financial protection in times of need. However, that safety net can disappear when an insurer rescinds a policy—a devastating consequence for potentially innocent policyholders. We recently published a post following a Fourth Circuit decision addressing this issue. The Ninth Circuit has also addressed this issue, most recently in the decision discussed below.Continue Reading Policy Rescission: Avoid Relying Solely on the Broker

Exercising its newly expanded jurisdiction that now permits Virginia’s intermediate appellate courts to hear insurance coverage disputes, the Court of Appeals recently reversed a lower court decision that allowed a two-year “Suits Against Us” provision to serve as a basis for an insurer’s refusal to reimburse repair and replacement costs incurred more than two years after the date of loss. Bowman II v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., Record No. 1256-22-3 (Nov. 21, 2023). CAV (unpublished opinion).Continue Reading Expanded Virginia Court of Appeals Leads to Policyholder Relief

Major sneaker brands have capitalized on new trends in technology and social media to hype sneaker culture. As sneakers become more popular, sneaker collections increase in value, thus increasing financial exposure for collectors and other entities in the sneaker industry. One might first think of theft, authentication, fire, floods, or market valuation as the general risks associated with sneaker collections. But many sneaker companies have made headlines over the past few years with numerous lawsuits against other sneaker companies and entities with issues ranging from traditional patent battles to exhaustive fights against counterfeiters. Often overlooked by collectors and sneaker companies alike, insurance can and does play a critical role in helping both collectors and companies faced with unexpected liability related to sneaker culture.Continue Reading Solefully Designed: Insurance Coverage in the Sneaker Industry

Hurricane Idalia is rapidly approaching the west coast of Florida, expected to make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane this morning. While the exact track is still being determined, the storm will leave a path of serious damage in its wake. Now is the time to activate your disaster plan and ensure you have your relevant insurance policies in your possession and that you’ve reviewed critical deadlines. 

The Hunton Insurance Team has put together a webpage of complimentary resources here for you and your company as you prepare to weather the storm, with tips to help your business mitigate potential storm loss and maximize coverage. You should also review our recent blog post on the important of risk mitigation. Our best wishes for you and your business to stay safe, and dry, during the storm.
Continue Reading Hurricane Idalia: Florida Companies – Its Time to Initiate Your Hurricane Preparedness Plans

Hurricane Ian is rapidly approaching the west coast of Florida and is expected to make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane near the Tampa area within the coming days. While the exact track is still being determined, there is a chance the storm may also impact insureds in Georgia and South Carolina. Now is the

From IRS rulings that “virtual currency” is taxed as “property” to an SEC lawsuit claiming that digital assets are “securities” under federal law, meteoric growth of the largely unregulated crypto industry has raised numerous questions about whether crypto-related risks are covered by insurance. In the latest example of the intersection of crypto and insurance, a California federal court recently held that cryptocurrency stolen from a Coinbase account did not constitute a covered loss under a homeowner’s insurance policy. The fundamental issue was whether the stolen crypto met the policy’s requirement for “direct physical loss to property” and, more specifically, whether the losses were “physical” in nature. The court ruled against coverage, reasoning that lost control of cryptocurrency is not a direct physical loss as a matter of California law.
Continue Reading California Holds Stolen Cryptocurrency Does Not Qualify as “Physical” Loss Under Homeowners’ Policy

Earlier this year, New York passed a law addressing dogs and homeowners’ insurance. Some insurers selling homeowners’ insurance policies will decide whether and how to issue coverage based on the type of dog residing with the homeowners. For example, these kinds of dogs may result in lower premiums or more favorable terms than other dogs:
Continue Reading Dogs And Insurance, These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Things (Pictures Included!)

In American Reliable Insurance Company v. Lancaster, the Georgia Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a property insurer’s summary judgment motion concerning the insurer’s denial of a fire loss claim.  The basis of the denial was that the policyholders had failed to pay the policy premium.  The policyholders, Charlie and Wanda Lancaster, claimed that they had paid their policy premiums for several years to their insurance agent, Macie Yawn.  In October 2014, American Reliable mailed a renewal notice to the Lancasters notifying them that premium payments had to be made directly to the insurer.  After it did not receive payment from the Lancasters, American Reliable sent them a cancellation notice in December 2014, again notifying them that payments be made directly to the insurer.  The Lancasters denied having received either notice from American Reliable, but the record included a receipt for certificate of mailing.
Continue Reading Georgia Court of Appeals Upholds Denial of Coverage Because Insurance Broker Lacked Agency to Accept Premium Payment

Pennsylvania’s highest court recently rejected Erie Insurance Exchange’s argument that it had no duty to defend a claim arising out of a shooting because it did not involve an accident, and therefore, there was no “occurrence” under the policy. The court held that the duty to defend was triggered because the underlying allegations were not “patently outside the policy coverage.” This decision can have far reaching effects on other kinds of claims involving intentional conduct.
Continue Reading Pennsylvania Court Holds That Violent Acts Are Not Lethal To The Duty To Defend

In the first part of a 3-part series, the Hunton insurance team discusses how policyholders can plan for this year’s hurricane season. Part 2 will address how to prepare a claim after a loss in order to maximize the potential recovery, including by taking photographs of any damage and tracking curfews that affect your operations.  Part 3 will discuss how to prevent denials of pending claims based on suit limitations periods.  The team’s goal is to provide a comprehensive outline that will guide policyholders before and after a loss.
Continue Reading Hunton Insurance Team Helps Policyholders Prepare for the 2019 Hurricane Season, Part 1 of 3