On Wednesday, my colleagues Walter Andrews and Katie Miller published a timely article in Florida’s Daily Business Review discussing the availability of insurance coverage for continuing losses suffered by businesses directly and indirectly affected by Hurricane Irma. The article, titled After Irma: Is Your Business Entitled to Insurance Coverage for Additional Lost Profits?, has equal application to those affected by Hurricanes Maria and Harvey. As the article explains, continuing business income losses may be covered under common property insurance policy provisions. Where they are not, the article provides insightful advice for policyholders as they approach policy renewal so they can fill gaps that may exist in their current coverages. A copy of the article can be found here.
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, in Innovak International v. The Hanover Insurance Co., recently granted summary judgment in favor of Hanover Insurance Company finding that it had no duty to defend Innovak against a data breach lawsuit. Innovak, which is a payroll service, suffered a breach of employee personal information, including social security numbers. The employees then filed suit against Innovak alleging it had negligently created a software that allowed personal information to be accessed by third parties. Innovak sought a defense for the lawsuit from its commercial general liability carrier, Hanover Insurance Company. Innovak argued that the employee’s allegations triggered the personal and advertising injury coverage part of the policy, which covers loss arising out of the advertising of the policyholder’s goods or services, invasion of privacy, libel, slander, copyright infringement, and misappropriation of advertising ideas. The court disagreed and found the employees’ allegations did not involve a publication that would trigger coverage under the commercial general liability policy.
Following the devastation of Hurricane Irma, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has entered an emergency order regarding insurance procedures for residential property policies to assist policyholders and streamline the claims process. The insurance commissioner’s order provides standardized requirements for claims reporting, grace periods for payment of premiums and performance of other duties by policyholders, and temporary postponement of cancellations and non-renewals. These include:
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.
Beginning last Friday, and still occurring today, one of the worst and most widespread malware attacks has impacted more than 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries, including Britain’s National Health Service, FedEx, telecommunications companies Telefonica and Megafon, and automakers Renault and Nissan. The malware, known as “WannaCry,” disables the user’s computer system and all of its data. A note in a text file then appears stating that in order to unlock the computer, $300 worth of the digital currency bitcoin must be paid to the hackers. A countdown timer appears and the fee increases with time. The hackers threaten to delete all data on the computer system if payment is not sent within one week. Cybersecurity experts believe that the malware was sent to computers through “phishing attacks,” which are emails that appear to be from reputable sources and include a download to a link that allows the malware to infect the computer. From these computers, the malware then spread to other computers on the network. One infected computer can spread this virus network-wide, and quickly.
The Ninth Circuit in Teleflex Medical Incorporated v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh PA, No. 14-56366 (9th Cir. Mar. 21, 2017) affirmed a jury verdict finding that AIG must pay $3.75 million in damages plus attorneys’ fees to cover LMA North America, Inc.’s (“LMA’s”) settlement with its competitor over allegedly disparaging advertisements that characterized a competitor’s products as unsafe.
A federal district court judge in Connecticut recently agreed that an insurer did not owe coverage under a “claims-made” D&O liability insurance policy where the policyholder failed to give timely notice of a suit arising from a loan default. Although the ruling killed the claim, the decision also offered guidance on two critical – and commonly cited – exclusions: the “related claim” and “pending or prior claim” exclusions. The court held that neither exclusion applied under the factual nexus test used by the court, reminding policyholders and insurers alike that successive or seemingly “related” claims may not be connected simply because they are traceable to a common genesis. Read Michael Levine and Katie Miller’s alert on the case here.