SDV Insights

State Initiatives to Expand Workers' Compensation for COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous states have mounted initiatives to expand access to Workers' Compensation benefits for workers affected by COVID-19, with new states joining every day. Among the states that have addressed the issue to date are Alaska, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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Ninth Circuit Finds that Insured's Umbrella Liability Insurance Must Drop Down to Co-Primary Coverage with Commercial General Liability Policy

In American States Insurance Company v. Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, No. 18-15770, 2020 WL 70491, the Ninth Circuit issued a decision about the role umbrella insurance policies have when there is a gap in insurance coverage and thereby opening the possibility for equitable contribution claims.

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8th Circuit Finds Construction Defect Not an Occurrence on CGL Policy

Contradicting the Missouri Supreme Court and the majority of courts nationally, the 8th Circuit, applying Missouri law, recently ruled, in American Family Mutual Ins. Co. v. Mid-American Grain Distributors LLC, that defective or faulty workmanship is not an "occurrence" within the meaning of a Commercial General Liability ("CGL") policy.

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COVID-19 Insurance and Nonprofits: The Case for Coverage

The cancellation of events producing income, galas and other fundraising events, the furloughing and quarantining of employees and volunteers, and the prospect of possible third-party liability claims have all caused considerable financial strains for many nonprofit entities, in recent weeks, thanks to the COVID-19 crisis. Insurance coverage can help nonprofits weather the storm but getting past initial insurer denials or reservations of rights can require both know-how and considerable work.

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California Not Tired of Montrose Yet: Supreme Court Adopts Vertical Exhaustion for Progressive Loss Excess Coverage

In a victory for policyholders, the California Supreme Court recently held that an insured faced with a progressive loss only needs to exhaust all directly underlying polices to access excess layers within that policy period.

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Your CGL Policy May Cover More Than You Think - Damages "because of' Property Damage or Bodily Injury for Construction Projects

Construction projects are susceptible to injuries and property damage - which is why the stakeholders involved rely heavily on commercial general liability ("CGL") insurance policies when such losses occur.

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Pennsylvania Appellate Courts Favored Finding Coverage in April

On April 22, 2020, in a 4-3 opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that an insurer must defend its insured in connection with an intentional murder-suicide that also resulted in unintentional injuries.

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COVID-19 Shutdown? Beware of the Vacancy Provision in your Property Policy!

As the nation responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, bars and restaurants across the nation were shut down by local or state edict with no known re-opening date in sight. Beware of the (no) vacancy provision! Almost every commercial property policy has some variation of a vacancy or unoccupancy provision.

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New Additional Insured Endorsement Forms Will Impact Contractors, Project Owners, Lessees

Published in the Spring 2020 issue of NASBP Surety Bond Quarterly. Richard W. Brown, Michael V. Pepe and Janie Reilly Eddy were recently featured in the National Association of Surety Bond Producers magazine, with their article New Additional Insured Endorsement Forms Will Impact Contractors, Project Owners, Lessees.

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COVID-19 Related Exposures Facing Franchise Systems

Most franchise systems are facing severe financial impacts as a result of the continued spread of COVID-19 and the numerous government-mandated shutdowns that have been ordered by state and local officials in response. Even if your franchised operations are considered essential and able to remain open during the shut-down, franchisees may have exposures, in addition to a loss of revenue, which may further impact franchisors.

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