Monthly Archives: March 2014

Respondeat Superior

Insurer Owes Nothing to Employee Not In Course & Scope of Employment When automobile accidents occur plaintiffs seek to recover from people who have money, entities or insurers. If a potential defendant is judgment proof – has insufficient assets to … Continue reading

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Don’t Buy a Pig in a Poke

Carbon Monoxide Is a Pollutant Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance provides extensive coverage to those insured by the CGL. However, it does not cover every possible event or injury. In Church Mutual Insurance Company v. Clay Center Christian Church, Defendant, … Continue reading

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Additional Insured Coverage Only For Vicarious Liability

Duty To Defend Additional Insured Ends When Named Insured Dismissed Additional insured endorsements to insurance policies are a method of transferring risk from one party’s insurer to the insurer of another. Owners and General Contractors on construction projects use the … Continue reading

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The Need To Plead

Contribution Requires Each Insurer Insures Same Risk Danaher Corporation, v The Travelers Indemnity Company, USDC, SNY.0000387 (March 20, 2014) presented to the District Court, Southern District of New York, with a dispute about insurance coverage for silica-and asbestos-related claims against … Continue reading

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To Stack or Not to Stack – That is the Question

There Must Be Policies to Stack A family had four vehicles and four liability insurance policies. When a member of the family had an automobile accident where her passenger was killed, the family of the deceased attempted to recover from … Continue reading

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Who’s On First?

Asbestos Litigation Create Notions About the Law When some primary insurers exhaust their policy limits excess insurers must take over the defense and indemnity of the insured as their interests appear. When there are multiple primary and excess insurers the … Continue reading

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I’ve Made Up My Mind – Don’t Confuse Me With Facts

Four Corners Rule Strikes Again The Four Corners Rule, applied in Pennsylvania and several other states, limits the decision to defend and/or indemnify an insured to a review of the allegations of a complaint. As such, it ignores facts extrinsic … Continue reading

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Condition Precedent or Condition Subsequent

Breach a Condition & Insurer Must Still Prove Prejudice The Florida Supreme Court has, with regard to insurance disputes, imposed on insurers doing business in Florida, a requirement that when an insured breaches a condition the insurer, to defeat the … Continue reading

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Claims Made Before Policy

Don’t Lie on Application for Insurance When purchasing errors and omissions insurance the insured must be aware that the policy will only respond to claims that are made and reported during the policy period. Further, since the application becomes a … Continue reading

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Redundancy Does Not Create Ambiguity

Manufacturing Defect v. Latent Defect Insurance policies, in an attempt to be clear and unambiguous, often use terms with similar or identical meanings believing that redundancy helps clarity and avoids ambiguity. In  Ardente v. The Standard Fire Insurance Co., 13-2000 … Continue reading

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No Coverage for Intentional Torts

Creative Pleading Not Enough To Get Coverage Evil acts of molestation of children and adults by those in a position of trust cause serious and long lasting injuries, both physical and mental. Victims of such acts seek redress from the … Continue reading

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Multi-Billion Dollar Fraud

In the sixth issue of its 18th year of publication of Zalma’s Insurance Fraud Letter (ZIFL) Barry Zalma, on March 15, 2014, continues the effort to reduce the effect of insurance fraud around the world. The current issue of ZIFL … Continue reading

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Policy Must Say What Insurer Means

Insurer Denied Claim on Language Not in Policy Insurance policies are interpreted based upon the wording of the policy rather than the unwritten intent of the underwriter who wrote the policy. When the language of a policy is clear and … Continue reading

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Conditions are Important

Testify at Examination Under Oath or Lose Your Claim Insurance policies, as a matter of course, contain conditions that must be fulfilled before it is obligated to pay a claim. The conditions require cooperation, submission of a sworn proof of … Continue reading

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The Effect of the Tort of Bad Faith

In the 1960’s and 70’s the insurance industry abused some insureds to avoid paying legitimate claims. Without a factual basis, insureds were accused of arson or other variations on insurance fraud. Indemnity payments were refused on the flimsiest of excuses. … Continue reading

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Limited Duty of Insurance Broker

Insurance Broker Not A Fiduciary People think insurance is expensive. They will grasp at alternatives that appear to save them money. Avoiding payment of apparently egregiously expensive insurance premiums a person or entity will accept the lower cost alternative without … Continue reading

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Policy Defenses Waived by Inaction

Insurer – Protect Thyself Insurance companies rely heavily on insurance coverage counsel before making a decision on a potential coverage dispute. Unfortunately, coverage counsel is not always called in early nor are coverage counsel noted for prompt responses to coverage … Continue reading

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Standard Mortgage Clause

Mortgagee Must Fulfill Policy Conditions The standard or union mortgage clause effects a separate contract between the insurer and a mortgagee that requires payment to the mortgagee even when, due to error or malfeasance on the part of the insured, … Continue reading

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No Automatic Conflict if Insurer Appoints Lawyer

Insurer Need not Submit to Extortion Lawyers who are retained by insurers to defend an insured person in a third party liability suit, owe a duty to both the insured and the insurer. The lawyer needs to protect his clients … Continue reading

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Insurer Fails To Assert Exclusions to its Detriment

Hoist on Its Own Petard When seeking court approval of a refusal to defend an insurer should assert all policy defenses, conditions and exclusions. Simplifying litigation by relying on one defense over another can make the work of the lawyers … Continue reading

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Politics Must be Funny

This has nothing to do with insurance. It is, however, very interesting. I am reading an Amicus Brief filed by the Cato Institute in the U.S. Supreme Court in a case entitled, SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST, ET AL., v. STEVEN … Continue reading

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Words of Policy Control over Secret Intent of Insurer

Policy Must Be Read as a Whole Cheerleading is, by some measures, the second most dangerous college sport in the country. Cheerleading trails only football in terms of the total dollar value of catastrophic injury insurance claims submitted to the … Continue reading

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Federal Court Defers to Arbitration

Arbitrator Must Decide Dispute Arbitration agreements are important to the courts. They provide a means to reduce the case load of the federal and state courts and allow the parties a quick and efficient means of resolving complex disputes. Reinsurance … Continue reading

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You Get What You Pay For

Courts Cannot Write a Better policy Than the one Purchased Some people purchase insurance based on the lowest price available. Prudent people buy insurance to protect them against the risks of loss faced by their property. The lowest price is … Continue reading

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Guilty of Making Same Claim Twice

Zalma’s Insurance Fraud Letter March 1, 2014 In the fifth issue of its 18th year of publication of Zalma’s Insurance Fraud Letter (ZIFL) Barry Zalma, on March 1, 2014, continues the effort to reduce the effect of insurance fraud around … Continue reading

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