SDV Insights

California Supreme Court Decision on TCPA Liability Could Provide Open Season for Policyholders

The California Supreme Court recently accepted a certified question from the Ninth Circuit regarding coverage for claims arising under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"). The Court will determine whether a commercial general liability ("CGL") policy's modified personal and advertising injury coverage clause includes claims based on the insured's sending of unsolicited text messages that do not reveal private information.

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N.J. Appellate Court Confirms that AIA Construction Contract Bars Insurer's Subrogation Claim

On April 4, 2019, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court confirmed that the waiver of subrogation provision in a commonly used form construction contract, American Institute of Architects (AIA) form A201 -- 2007 General Conditions of the Contract for Construction, precluded an insurer's claims against a subcontractor.

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Think Twice About Depreciating Repair Costs in Our State, says the Tennessee Supreme Court

Tennessee's Supreme Court recently held that an insurer may not withhold repair labor costs as depreciation when the policy definition of actual cash value is found to be ambiguous. Tennessee joins other states like California and Vermont that prohibit the depreciation of repair labor costs in property policies.

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Connecticut Crumbling Concrete Cases Not Covered Under "Collapse" Provision in Homeowner's Policy

In recent years, the foundations of approximately 35,000 homes in northeastern Connecticut have begun to deteriorate as a result of faulty concrete used to build homes during the 1980s and 1990s. Dozens of homeowners have been suing their insurers for denying coverage for claims based on the deteriorating foundations. Of those cases, three related lawsuits against Allstate Insurance Company were the first to make it to the federal appellate level.

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Construction Defect Dispute Governed by Contract Disputes Act not yet Suited to being a "Suit"

The Southern District of California recently held that a series of demands for a general contractor to investigate and repair several construction defects at a U.S. Army facility did not constitute a "suit" within the meaning of the general contractor's commercial general liability ("CGL") policy.

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"Repair Work" Endorsements and Punch List Work

The recent white paper on Repair Work Endorsements by Jeremiah Welch, drew a storm of responses. Most were appreciative and included follow up questions, but there were those that lamented along the lines of: "How can that be? We've been doing it this way for years...".

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Insurer's Negligence Can Lead to a Finding of Bad Faith

The Florida Supreme Court's decision in GEICO General Insurance Co. v. Harvey1 held an insurer accountable for bad faith as a result of actions which were not malicious in nature, but rather consisted of self-serving inaction. The court's decision ushers in an era of closer scrutiny on the actions of insurers and may pave the way for a lower standard for proving bad faith.

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Wisconsin Tests Breadth of Duty to Defend: Declines to Strip Wholesaler of Defense

Wisconsin's Supreme Court recently held that even where a complaint generally alleges a company acted wrongfully and with intent to defraud, a single potentially covered claim still triggers the duty to defend. The case is yet another in a long line of state high court decisions finding that the duty to defend is exceedingly broad and applies where there is a single potentially covered claim.

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Project-Specific Commercial General Liability Insurance

Many markets which provide insurance for construction projects include an endorsement providing coverage for "repair work" as part of their standard policy. "Repair work" endorsements are largely misunderstood by policyholders and the insurance broker community.

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Nevada Court Finds Insurers May be Liable for Consequential Damages - No Bad Faith Required!

In a lawsuit arising out of a traffic accident, the Nevada Supreme Court departed from the majority view among jurisdictions that an insurer's liability is generally capped at its policy limits. In Century Surety Co. v. Andrew, the Court held that a commercial liability insurer could be liable for damages in excess of the policy limits for failing to defend its insured, even if the insurer acted in good faith.

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SDV is based in Connecticut, conveniently located between New York City and Boston, with regional offices in Florida and California to better serve our clients. We're ready to answer your questions and eager to assist you in developing solutions.