SDV Insights

Insurance Broker Support & Training Insights

Washington Policyholders Can Sue Insurance Adjusters Personally for Bad Faith Claims Handling

In a new decision, a Washington State appellate court ruled recently that insureds may sue an insurance adjuster personally for bad faith claims handling. The decision is unusual and has interesting implications for policyholders and insurance companies nationwide.

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Second Circuit Court Differentiates the Standard for Determining Evident Partiality for a Neutral Arbitrator and a Party-Appointed Arbitrator

In June, the New York Court of Appeals examined the application of a New York Choice of Law provision in a contract - a determinative issue for the case. In Ontario, Inc. v. Samsung C&T Corp., the issue was whether the plaintiff's claims were subject to Ontario, Canada's 2-year statute of limitations or New York's 6-year statute of limitations for breach of contract where the contract contained a broad New York Choice of Law provision.

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CA Supreme Court Protects California Policyholders for Intentional Acts of Employees

In a major win for policyholders, the California Supreme Court recently held that a negligent hiring, supervision, or retention claim arising out of an employee's intentional misconduct constitutes an "occurrence," giving rise to coverage under a general liability policy.

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TX Supreme Court Clarifies: Breach of Contract Not Required to Prevail on Statutory Bad Faith Claim

The Supreme Court of Texas recently clarified that under certain circumstances, an insured can recover policy benefits as damages for bad faith even absent a finding that the insurer was in breach of contract. In USAA Texas Lloyds Company v. Menchaca, the court explored decades' worth of Texas precedent and distilled it into five simple rules that govern claims of this nature.

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Resistance is Futile: Insurers' Broad Duty to Defend in California

On January 17th, 2018, the PHP Ins. decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals solidified the broad duty to defend for insurers in California. The court used the long-established precedent that remote facts buried within the causes of action that may potentially give rise to coverage are sufficient to invoke the duty to defend and upheld the trial court's decision that the insurer's duty to defend was triggered.

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A New Hope - You Now May Have Coverage for Punitive Damages in Connecticut

On December 19, 2017, the Pasiak decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court opened the door to finding coverage for punitive damages under an insurance policy related to certain common law claims. While the case involves a homeowner's policy, other policyholders may be able to use the court's reasoning when seeking coverage for punitive damages. The case also clarifies the amount of proof required for an insurer to prove that a policy exclusion bars coverage.

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Whose Lease Is It Anyway: Physical Occupancy Not Required in Landlord-Tenant Dispute

When a prospective tenant alleged a wrongful interference claim against a landlord, the landlord sought coverage under the "Personal and Advertising Injury" coverage section of his CGL policy. Unfortunately, the insurer denied defense, arguing that the coverage required the tenant to have physically occupied the space. In the ensuing coverage action, a Texas Federal district court judge made a surprising ruling that is now up on appeal to the Fifth Circuit.

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Confirming Coverage: The Importance of Vetting Downstream Insurance

The cost of insurance is often a critical factor driving subcontractor pricing. While alternative risk transfer schemes--such as consolidated insurance programs--have grown in popularity, the typical upstream/downstream structure where owners and general contractors contractually require downstream entities to procure insurance remains a common approach.

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Case Alert Update: SDV Case Tabbed as One of New York's Top Three Cases to Watch

Argument before the Court of Appeals has now been scheduled for February 7, 2018, in Gilbane Building Co. v. St. Paul Insurance, with a long anticipated decision by New York's highest court to be issued shortly thereafter.

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New York High Court: "Issued or Delivered" Includes Policies Insuring Risks in New York

On November 20th, the New York Court of Appeals expansively interpreted the language of New York Insurance Law Section 3420 by holding that the statute, which applies to policies "issued or delivered" in New York, extends to policies insuring risks in New York, not just policies that originated from or were actually handed over to the insured in the state.

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