SDV Insights

Property Damage in Texas? File Your Claim Before 9/1

As Hurricane Harvey leaves its destructive mark on Texas, policyholders are left to pick up the pieces. Coincidentally, a new Texas law scheduled to take effect on September 1 could limit your insurance recovery.

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Hurricane Harvey Alert: Understanding Insurance Coverage and the Immediate Steps Risk Managers Must Take to mitigate a loss and prepare a claim

Hurricane Harvey will test many risk managers' insurance programs and response plans as it's been over 10 years since a major hurricane made landfall in the U.S.

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Federal Court: Auto Liability Carrier Must Cover Suit Involving Independent Contractor Despite "Employee Exclusion"

Motor carriers, particularly those that engage independent contractors, should keep in mind that the issue of worker classification, and how those contractors are treated by the motor carrier, could have a profound impact on whether claims are covered under their automobile liability insurance programs.

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Broad Interpretation of Professional Services Exclusion Bars Coverage for Pipeline Explosion Liability

Policyholders should be aware of professional services exclusions in their liability policies that may be broadly interpreted to exclude liability arising out of operations that, while traditionally not regarded as professional in nature, may include professional elements or duties. Furthermore, it should never be assumed that an umbrella or excess policy will provide follow-form coverage to a primary policy that does not contain a professional services exclusion.

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Minnesota District Court Bars Insurer from Retroactively Allocating Jury Award to Fit Sexual Abuse Exclusion

The District of Minnesota recently held that an excess insurer, who has the opportunity to participate in the defense of an underlying claim, is barred from speculating to the allocation of the jury award to make it fit within a policy exclusion.

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A General Contractor's Guide to Additional Insured Coverage recently surveyed attorneys to offer tips for what general contractors should - and shouldn't - do when pursuing additional insured coverage. According to the article, "With the broad array of risks present on a typical construction site, one of a general contractor's top options to shield itself from liability for property damage and bodily injury claims is to secure expansive "additional insured" coverage through its subcontractors."

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Medidata Win Fortifies Policyholders In Digital Fraud Fights

In a pro-policyholder decision, reported that a New York federal judge recently ruled that a thief's use of emails to trick employees of Medidata into wiring money overseas was a covered incident under the company's computer fraud policy, weakening insurers' arguments that such coverage is meant to apply only to hacking into policyholders' computers.

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Signed, Sealed and (Almost) Delivered: EU Council Authorizes Signing of U.S. - EU Bilateral Insurance Agreement

On July 14, 2017, the Trump administration released a statement indicating that the United States intends to sign the U.S. - EU bilateral insurance agreement. The announcement came several weeks after the Council of the European Union adopted a decision authorizing the signing of this agreement.

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Stormy Seas Ahead: 5th Circuit to Review Whether Maritime Law Applies to Offshore Service Contract

Earlier this year, the 5th Circuit applied the Davis factors to determine the validity of an indemnity clause in a Master Services Contract. In Larry Doiron Inc. et al., v. Specialty Rental Tool & Supply LLP et al., the court affirmed the notion that if a contract provides services on navigable waters aboard a vessel, a maritime contract exists, even if the contract calls for incidental or insubstantial work unrelated to the use of a vessel.

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Affirmed: Nationwide Acted in Bad Faith by Failing to Settle Within Limits

The Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed that Nationwide acted in bad faith by refusing to settle a claim against its insured for the policy limits of $100,000, exposing the policyholder to a $5.83 million verdict.

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