The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida recently granted summary judgment in favor of developer, KB Homes, ruling that Southern Owners Insurance Co. must defend KB Homes under various Commercial General Liability policies.
Hunton insurance lawyers Michael Levine, Syed Ahmad and Katherine Miller discuss how Hurricanes Harvey and Irma highlight the need for contingent business interruption insurance and why companies with this coverage should be considering how to obtain its benefit for income losses resulting from the recent storms. The article was published this morning in Risk Management.
For more information, please visit our Hurricane Insurance Recovery and Advisory center.
Many communities are breathing a sigh of relief as winter weather kills off a good portion of the Zika-carrying mosquito population – at least in some parts of the US, and at least until next spring. But dwindling mosquito populations have not diminished business concerns about Zika-related losses. Since the health effects of Zika may not be apparent until months after birth, businesses in mosquito-popular locales should assess their option to cover the losses caused by Zika, or the mere threat of Zika. Read my colleagues Walter Andrews, Michael Levine, Andrea DeField’s analysis of this issue in the most recent publication of the Daily Business Review, available here.
On Thursday, Florida’s highest court held that prior to litigating a first-party bad faith action arising from an uninsured/underinsured motorist (“UM”) case, an insured is entitled to a jury determination of liability and the full extent of potentially recoverable damages, even if in excess of policy limits. Fridman v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Illinois, No. SC13-1607 (Fla. Feb. 25, 2016). And, such a determination is binding on the insurer in the subsequent bad faith action so long as the parties had an opportunity for appellate review of any trial errors.
The ruling is premised on Florida’s requirement that the insured’s liability and the full extent of potential damages be determined in order to state a claim for bad faith. Applying that rule, the Supreme Court rejected Safeco’s argument and reversed the Fifth District Court of Appeal, finding that liability and the extent of damages need not be deferred to the subsequent bad faith case. The Court also clarified that the UM trial court may reserve jurisdiction to allow an insured to formally amend his complaint to add a claim for bad faith at the conclusion of the UM proceedings.
Prior blog posts discuss new laws imposing, among other things, insurance-related requirements on ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft (also known as transportation network companies or TNCs) and their drivers. While many states have passed such laws, the Florida legislature is now dealing with competing proposals for regulating TNCs. On Tuesday, a Florida Senate committee unanimously approved a bill to regulate TNCs. A different bill is making its way through the Florida House. Both bills include insurance requirements but the devil is in the details.