The commercial insurance programs of many multi-national and United States businesses include “Bermuda Form” policies, a special policy form developed in Bermuda in the mid-1980s that includes unique provisions and provides for arbitration of disputes, usually in London under the substantive law of New York. These provisions provide challenges for United States policyholders and “stack the deck” in favor of the insurance companies that are repeat players in “Bermuda Form arbitrations.”   Policyholders should carefully consider purchase of Bermuda Form policies and ensure that they are structured as favorably as possible for the policyholder.  Presentation of claims under Bermuda Form policies can present special challenges.  Therefore, if claims arise, policyholders should consult counsel with expertise with Bermuda Form policies to ensure that the claim is presented with an eye toward the unique definition of “occurrence” and other provisions included in Bermuda Form policies.

Continue Reading Bermuda Form Insurance Arbitration Series: History of the Bermuda Form

With Brexit approaching in March 2019, uncertainty remains over whether Britain and Brussels will reach an agreement to ensure that UK insurers can continue to pay out on policies after Britain leaves the European Union.  The uncertainty tied to Brexit serves as a broader warning to policyholders about the potential pitfalls that can occur when

Obscured by the recent hurricanes ravaging the Caribbean, Florida and Texas, Mexico suffered its own natural disaster earlier this week with a 7.1 magnitude earthquake.  Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected by the quake.

Continue Reading Mexico City Earthquake: Lost Income And Additional Expenses May Be Covered

Update: A federal district-court judge has denied a group of insurers’ motion to dismiss Coca-Cola’s claim for attorneys’ fees in a cross-border insurance coverage dispute.

Continue Reading Judge Denies Insurers’ Motion to Dismiss Coca-Cola’s Claim for Attorneys’ Fees in Cross-Border Insurance Coverage Dispute

In MF Global Holdings Ltd. et al. v. Allied World Assurance Co. Ltd. et al., No. 1:16-ap-01251 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Aug. 24, 2017), the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York ordered MF Global Holdings Ltd. and Allied World Assurance Co. Ltd. to arbitrate their $15 million errors-and-omissions coverage dispute in Hamilton, Bermuda. MF Global initiated an adversary proceeding against Allied World in the bankruptcy court after Allied World had refused to pay MF Global for amounts that MF Global returned to its customers’ accounts as part of a settlement of claims against MF Global’s former managers and directors. Allied World denied coverage under its “Bermuda Form” errors-and-omissions policy, claiming that this procedure was tantamount to deposit insurance, and not professional liability insurance, which is what errors-and-omissions coverage typically provides.
Continue Reading Court Order Sending Coverage Dispute To Arbitration Overseas Demonstrates The Potential Consequences Of Purchasing “Bermuda Form” And Other International Coverages

Dick’s Sporting Goods (“DSG”) sued a Chinese insurer, PICC Property and Casualty Company Limited Suzhou Branch (“PICC”), seeking coverage under a products liability insurance policy for personal injury claims arising out of a burst exercise ball. In Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. v. PICC Prop. & Cas. Co. Ltd. Suzhou Branch, No. 2:16-cv-01635-DSC-RCM (W.D. Pa. July 28, 2017), a federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania found that an insurance policy’s forum-selection clause required DSG to assert its claims in a Chinese court and, accordingly, recommended that DSG’s coverage claims be dismissed.

Continue Reading The Ball Is In Their Court: U.S. Insured May Have To Litigate Insurance Coverage Dispute In China

The frequency and magnitude of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA) (15 U.S.C. § 78dd-1, et seq.) investigations and claims continue to grow. Last month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Halliburton Co. had agreed to pay $29.2 million in fines and penalties to settle allegations that its operations in Angola and Iraq violated the FCPA’s books and records and internal accounting controls provisions. In its press release, Halliburton vowed that it had “continuously enhanced its global ethics and compliance program” since first receiving an anonymous tip in December 2010, but the recent settlement serves as a reminder that even the most robust compliance program cannot guarantee that FCPA violations will not occur.

Continue Reading Hunton Insurance Lawyers Sergio F. Oehninger and Geoffrey Fehling Provide a Primer on Insurance Coverage for FCPA Claims and Investigations

The United Kingdom’s recent vote to sever ties with the European Union will have global economic consequences. The ramifications of an EU economic retraction resulting from financial uncertainty will undoubtedly reach Latin America.  The cross-border insurance industry will likely not be spared.  Multinationals with local operations must be proactive to get ahead of the storm – now is the time to review the unique aspects of their business and their target markets to pinpoint their ideal risk management structure, and to ensure that their insurance regimes sufficiently anticipate the shifting risks in this dynamic bloc.

Continue Reading Protecting Against Brexit Risks Facing Latin America Through Cross-Border Insurance

Yesterday, a federal court found that FIFA’s D&O insurer is obligated to reimburse and advance legal costs for the defense of Eduardo Li, one of the defendants in the FIFA racketeering and fraud prosecution. Li v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, No. 15-cv-6099 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 27, 2016). Li was the president of the Costa Rican soccer federation, an executive member of the soccer association for North and Central America (CONCACAF), and a member of FIFA standing committees. Along with other FIFA executives, he was indicted this past summer and charged with racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.
Continue Reading FIFA’s D&O Insurer Cannot Kick Defense Coverage

Globalization has inspired the development of cross-border business activities, as companies across several industries seek new markets for their goods and services.  The dynamic rewards have been accompanied by a corresponding increase in novel risks, and those who rely on traditional risk assessment mechanisms have often been left unnecessarily exposed.
Continue Reading Top Takeaways: Hunton & Williams LLP’s Focus on Cross-Border Insurance Coverage Issues for Policyholders