SDV Insights

Can Insurers Retroactively Modify Policies to Exclude Coronavirus?

Every day brings new challenges and concerns as the world grapples with the novel coronavirus. Businesses are already looking to their insurance portfolio as a way to lessen the anticipated impact on their bottom line. Policyholder and insurer side litigators alike seem to agree that we will likely see coronavirus-related coverage issues litigated for years, long after the pandemic has been contained.

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Coverage Implications for COVID-19 Project Shutdowns

Boston's recent decision to temporarily shut down city construction projects has many in the industry asking what impact, if any, a COVID-19 related shutdown would have on project insurance.

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COVID-19 Business Interruption Lawsuits Begin: Iconic Oceana Grill in New Orleans Files Insurance Coverage Lawsuit

On Monday, the iconic New Orleans restaurant, Oceana Grill, filed the first Coronavirus-related business interruption insurance coverage lawsuit in a US jurisdiction. The declaratory judgment action styled Cajun Conti, LLC, et. al. d/b/a Oceana Grill v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London was filed in Louisiana state court for the Parish of Orleans.

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New Jersey Discussing Legislation That Would Require Property Insurers To Pay Coronavirus Business Interruption Claims

New Jersey is discussing draft legislation that would require certain property insurers to provide coverage for business interruption losses resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic. If approved, N.J. Draft Bill A-3844 (the "Bill") would have immediate effect and apply retroactively to insurance policies in force on March 9, 2020 that insure against loss or damage to property and include loss of use and occupancy and business interruption coverage.

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Policyholders' Coverage Checklist in Times of Coronavirus

The unprecedented social and economic impact of the Coronavirus makes it necessary for policyholders to keep open all lines of communications with their insurance brokers, insurance carriers, financial advisors, safety & compliance experts, and insurance coverage counsel even if it is not certain whether they will need to file insurance claims.

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Determining the Cause of the Loss from a Named Windstorm when there is Water Damage - New Jersey

Water damage, while one of the leading causes of loss under a property policy, often results in some of the most complex claims due to the intersection of exclusions, sublimits, and complex wording within the policy. One particularly difficult issue is whether water damage caused by a storm surge is covered by the flood sublimit, or under the general policy or water limit.

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IRMI Expert Commentary: Managing Insurance Coverage from Multiple Insurers

What do you do when less is more? In many loss scenarios, triggering coverage under multiple policies can be a critical and effective strategy. However, doing so has the potential to complicate the insurance recovery proceedings immensely, and possibly even undermine those overall goals. The relation of "other insurance" clauses, allocation schemes, and the practical impacts of interacting with multiple insurers can all leave the insured with some difficult questions.

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Coronavirus and Business Interruption Coverage for Policyholders

With a death toll of more than 2,700 and more than 80,000 infected, Policyholders' measures and governmental efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus has interrupted business and disrupted supply chains worldwide. Policyholders fearing the threat of the Coronavirus to their normal business operations should review if their first-party insurance would respond to the Coronavirus threat.

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Workarounds for Workers' Comp Immunity: How to Obtain Additional Insured Coverage when the Named Insured is Immune from Suit

Construction is an inherently risky business, fraught with the potential for human error. Despite best efforts to ensure safety, accidents involving construction workers are common, with consequences ranging from your run-of-the-mill trip and fall to much more serious and debilitating injuries.

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Skipping Depositions does not Constitute Failure to Cooperate in New York

Recently, a New York Appellate Division agreed with a trial court that failure to appear for multiple depositions does not constitute non-cooperation under the insurance policy. Applying the Thrasher test, the New York Appellate Division for the Second Department in Foddrell v. Utica First Insurance Co., No. 2017-04573, 2019 WL 6884967 (N.Y. App. Div. Dec. 18, 2019) found that this conduct did not rise to the level of "willful and avowed obstruction."

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