SDV Insights

Can a Lease Force a Tenant's Insurer to Defend the Landlord?

Can an indemnification clause in a commercial lease obligate a tenant's insurer to defend a landlord? Recently, the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York said, "Yes!" On August 9, 2022, the district court issued a decision in ConMed Corp. vs. Federal Insurance Company, holding that the indemnification clause in a policyholder's lease triggered the insurer's duty to defend the landlord in an action arising out of the tenant's negligence.

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Is New Jersey's Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act Obsolete?

Most states have some version of an Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act (UCSPA), which is intended to prohibit insurers from engaging in unfair claims settlement practices. While the UCSPA is based off a model act, there are differences from state to state. For example, New Jersey's UCSPA does not allow a private cause of action against an insurer - instead, the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance retains sole enforcement authority under the UCSPA.

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What is Contractual Risk Transfer?

Every commercial property owner, developer, general contractor, subcontractor, and vendor should understand the concept of contractual risk transfer and how it might affect its company and projects.

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Ninth Circuit Decides in Favor of Life Insurance Beneficiary in DUI Accidental Death Claim

In the case of Wolf v. Life Insurance Company of North America, 2022 WL 3652966, (9th Cir. August 25, 2022), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the determination of the district court agreeing that the tragic death of a young man was an "accident" as defined under an accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) policy.

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The Ups and Downs of Elevator Maintenance Contractor's Policy Limits

The December 2021 First Department decision in Nouveau Elevator Indus. v. New York Marine & General Ins. Co. is pushing some buttons in the elevator industry, given the significant implications it may have on the adequacy of policy limits for elevator service companies operating in New York state.

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Massachusetts High Court: Attorney's Fee Award Under Consumer Protection Act Not Covered by General Liability Insurance Policy

In the case of Vermont Mutual Insurance Co. v. Poirier, 189 N.E.3d 306 (Mass. 2022), Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court concluded that an award of attorney's fees pursuant to Chapter 93A (Massachusetts' Consumer Protection Act) is not covered under an insured's general liability insurance policy.

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Colorado Defective Construction is Not Considered "Property Damage"

In the July 5, 2022, case of Indian Harbor Ins. Co. v. Houston Casualty Co., the United States District Court for Colorado addressed the issue of whether damage to defectively installed balconies is considered "property damage" under Colorado law, requiring payment by a commercial general liability policy.

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ZOOM Alleges Insurers Relied on Unstable Connection To Support Denial

Zoom Video Communications, Inc. recently filed suit against four of its insurers alleging that it is owed their policy limits due to paying over $90 million in litigation costs stemming from several underlying lawsuits -- a government investigation and subsequent lawsuit and several other private lawsuits.

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9 Basic Strategies for Pursuing Coverage for Construction Accident Claims

Construction accidents happen all the time. Accidents involving worker injuries or damage to property can shut down a job site and cause significant losses. Contractors should be diligent and aggressive in examining all of the available options for recovery under their different insurance policies and bonds. This article will provide a refresher on some basic tips to help policyholders improve claims practices with respect to construction accidents.

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What is Contractor Professional Liability Coverage?

Contractor professional liability coverage insures against liability that derives from the technical aspects of a construction project - including architectural, engineering, and survey work. It is especially valuable in circumstances where the contractor has design responsibility as part of its project scope, such as in the case of "design build" projects or where "design assist" work is undertaken.

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