Listen to this post

The Hunton insurance recovery team recently offered support in a matter of great importance to Maryland policyholders. The case is pending before the Maryland Court of Appeals on a question certified from a Maryland federal court in a COVID-19 business interruption insurance lawsuit brought by clothing manufacturer, Tapestry, Inc. Tapestry, the parent of luxury brands Coach, Kate Spade New York, and Stuart Weitzman, is suing its all-risk insurer, Factory Mutual, seeking recovery of millions of dollars lost due to the physical impact of COVID-19 on Tapestry’s retail stores and the resulting loss of business income during the pandemic. Hunton, whose insurance recovery team is also litigating multiple similar cases against the same insurer, offered its insights in an amicus brief filed on behalf of Hunton’s client, Cinemark USA, the world’s third-largest movie theater chain.  A copy of the amicus brief can be downloaded here.

The case is Tapestry, Inc. v. Factory Mutual Insurance Co., Misc. No. 1 (Md. Ct. App.).

Listen to this post

A golf cart, at least according to a recent Eleventh Circuit ruling about insurance coverage for a minor driving a golf cart. GEICO Gen. Ins. Co. v. Gonalez, No. 21-13304.

The policy covered bodily injury arising from the use of a “private passenger, farm, or utility auto.” It defined “private passenger auto” as “a four-wheel private passenger, station wagon or jeep-type auto, including a farm or utility auto as defined.”

Continue Reading What Has Four Wheels And Is An “Auto” But Not A “Car”?
Listen to this post

In the 18th Century, underwriting desks at what came to be known as Lloyd’s of London were developed to share or transfer risks associated with shipping.[1] Availability of risk sharing, or insurance, provided protection for maritime investors and facilitated increased levels of investment and thus increased levels of maritime activity. Risk transfer has become an essential part of the development of a marketplace for many products. 

In the early years of cryptocurrency, there were no insurance products specifically designed to cover cryptocurrency-related losses. Much like the presence of insurance fosters development of a marketplace, the absence of insurance hinders it.

Continue Reading Digital Asset Insurance Coverage Series, Part 4: History Of Insurance Coverage Specifically Designed For Cryptocurrency
Listen to this post

In a recently published opinion,[1] the Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division answered a question of first impression: whether the New Jersey Transportation Network Company Safety and Regulatory Act (the “Act”), which requires “transportation network companies”[2] to provide at least $1.5 million in underinsured motorist insurance coverage, applies to food delivery services such as Uber Eats. 

Continue Reading No Coverage for Late Night Snacks: New Jersey Court Finds Uber Eats is Not Covered by State’s Insurance Coverage Requirements for Ride-Hailing Companies
Listen to this post

If your company has an emergency response plan—and it likely does—filing an insurance claim needs to be included in that plan. But what if your insurer stretches out the consideration process by making continuous, costly information requests without making a coverage determination? Or decides to deny coverage under one clause of the policy, but accept coverage under another? Or outright denies coverage? Policyholders should be prepared to comply with policy obligations (which may vary depending on the controlling state law), such as the sharing of relevant information and documentation or participating in arbitration or a mediation prior to suing the insurer, but also understand the responsibilities insurers have to policyholders when a claim is tendered. 

Continue Reading It’s Not You, It’s Them: Dealing With Insurance Coverage Denials
Listen to this post

In Sherwin-Williams Co. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, et al., the Court of Appeals for Ohio’s Eighth District reversed the lower court, finding that money paid by the insured into an abatement fund was “damages” as that undefined term was used in the policyholder’s insurance policies. 2022-Ohio-3031, ¶ 1. Sherwin-Williams is a cautionary tale about how insurers may try to narrow the meaning of undefined terms in their insurance policies.

Continue Reading Court Finds That $400 Million Paid Into Abatement Fund Qualifies as “Damages” Under the Insured’s Policies  
Listen to this post

A Delaware court recently granted summary judgment to a mortgage broker targeted in a federal government investigation for alleged False Claims Act violations, holding that the company’s directors and officers liability (“D&O”) insurer was required to indemnify more than $15 million in settlement costs with the U.S. Department of Justice. Guaranteed Rate, Inc. v. ACE American Insurance Company, No. N20C-04-268 MMJ CCLD (Del. Super. Ct. Sept. 6, 2022). We previously reported on the policyholder’s earlier victory in this case, in which the court held that a Civil Investigative Demand (“CID”) from federal authorities triggered the insurer’s obligation to pay defense costs under the D&O policy.

Continue Reading D&O Insurer Must Cover Mortgage Broker’s $15 Million Settlement of Alleged False Claims Act Violations
Listen to this post

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 time to activate your disaster plan and ensure that you have your relevant insurance policies in your possession and that you review them for critical deadlines. 

We put together an alert here with tips to help you and your business mitigate potential storm loss and maximize coverage.

The Hunton insurance team has also put together a webpage of complimentary resources here for you and your company as you prepare to weather the storm. You should also review our recent article for Risk Management Magazine on tips for minimizing losses and maximizing coverage here. Our best wishes for you and your business to stay safe and dry during the storm.

Listen to this post

As reported on this blog, policyholders have long been of the view that the presence of substances like COVID-19 and its causative virus  SARS-CoV-2, which render property dangerous or unfit for normal business operations, should be sufficient to trigger coverage under commercial all-risk insurance, as has been the case for more than 60 years.

However, many courts, federal courts in particular, despite decades of pro-policyholder precedent, have embraced the view that “viruses harm people, not [property].”  Thirty-one months after the start of the pandemic, the first state high court has gone in a different direction, according greater weight to pro-policyholder precedent.

Continue Reading Vermont Supreme Court Finds COVID-19 May Damage Property
Listen to this post

In the early years of cryptocurrency, there were no crypto-specific insurance coverages. Instead, policyholders sustaining losses were left to try to access coverage under traditional insurance policies such as:

Continue Reading Digital Asset Insurance Coverage Series, Part 3: How Traditional Insurance Products Can Help Protect Policyholders From Loss And Liability Related To Digital Assets