SDV Insights

Fifth Circuit Rules that Settlements in Underlying Action Constitute "Other Insurance"

The Fifth Circuit ruled that settlements between an insured and its subcontractors qualified as "other insurance" to the extent those settlements were used to pay for damages covered by an excess insurance policy. Policyholders should note the outcome of this case as it demonstrates the significant impact that settlements can have on coverage.

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Ontario Court of Appeal Clarifies the Meaning of "Living in the Same Household" for Purposes of Coverage Under a Homeowners Policy

As all insurance coverage attorneys know, how courts interpret certain words and phrases in insurance policies is significant since one word can make the difference between a claim being covered ...

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The Notice-Prejudice Rule Lives on in California

The California Court of Appeals recently confirmed California's support for the notice-prejudice rule. The notice-prejudice rule requires insurers that deny coverage based on a failure to provide notice under the policy to show that they have been prejudiced by the untimely or insufficient notice.

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Ohio State Court Provides a Bit of Clarification on Virtual Currency Coverage

An Ohio court finds that Bitcoin constitutes covered "property," rather than "money," under a homeowners' insurance policy, thereby rendering the policy's restrictive monetary sublimit inapplicable to the policyholder's $16,000 claim for stolen Bitcoin.

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Massachusetts Court Expansively Interprets Coverage for "Advertising Injury"

In Holyoke Mut. Ins. Co. in Salem v. Vibram USA, Inc., decided in September 2018, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that an unusual advertising injury triggered a duty to defend. The advertising idea was the use of a celebrity name with no intrinsic connection to any of the products being sold.

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Second Circuit Relies on Capstone's Subjectivity Standard in Upholding Coverage for Priest Sexual Abuse Settlement

In Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp. v. Interstate Fire & Casualty Co., Docket No. 16-2999-cv, 17-2484-cv (2d Cir. 2018), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the trial court's decision that the assault and battery exclusion in an excess liability policy did not exclude coverage for claims made against the Archdiocese for sexual abuse, and that such claims qualified as an "occurrence" under the policy.

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Top 10 Insurance Cases of 2018

2018 was a year of landmark decisions regarding insurance coverage for a variety of emerging claims, including cyber fraud, the "me too" movement, and wildfires. Read on to learn more as well as to find out what cases you should keep your eye on as 2019 unfolds.

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Insurer's Knowing Violation of Texas Insurance Code May Entitle Insured to Treble Damages

The Fifth Circuit's recent opinion in Lyda Swinerton Builders, Inc. v. Oklahoma Sur. Co. includes policyholder-friendly holdings on Texas law concerning the duty to defend and the potential to recover treble damages for an insurer's knowing violation of Texas Insurance Code. In this case, the Fifth Circuit did justice to the broad scope of the duty to defend, making inferences from the complaint and the policy to find a potential of coverage.

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Texas Court Requires Insurer to Defend GC Despite Breach of Contract Exclusion

In a suit filed by an owner against a general contractor for alleged construction defects at a new sports complex, the general contractor's commercial general liability insurer failed to defend its insured. The Western District of Texas ruled in the general contractor's favor and found that the insurer had a duty to defend, despite a breach of contract exclusion in the general contractor's GL policy.

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A Guide to Homeowners' Insurance for California Wildfire Losses

In 2017 and 2018 alone, California experienced the two largest and the first and fourth deadliest fires in its history. Sadly, a University of California report predicts that the frequency and potency of these fires will only continue to increase in the coming years and decades, increasing the importance of knowing about insurance.

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