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Insurance coverage battles surviving to fight another day

May 2, 2019

The cooperation requirement under insurance policies can be abused by an insurance carrier. Keep in mind that your insurer is interested in finding out how to deny coverage of your claim. An insurer looks for reasons to deny coverage by demanding that you cooperate by providing it with information. You should prepare for cooperation demands seeking information that might be misused when you seek insurance coverage under a director & officer policy or a general liability policy or any insurance policy. D&O Diary has a very interesting blog about a policyholder’s duty to cooperate with an insurer that has reserved its rights to deny coverage.

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Insurance coverage for SEC investigation of your ICO?

November 5, 2018

A question that businesses contemplating an initial coin offering (ICO) should consider is whether they have insurance coverage for an SEC or other government investigation. This is an excellent analysis of the question on the D&O Diary. Guest Post: ICO-Related Claims and Insurance Coverage: Questions You Should be Asking

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Good news for bad faith claimants

October 2, 2017

In some states the threshold for proving that an insurance carrier has denied a claim in bad faith is unreasonably high — often requiring proof that the carrier denied the claim out of malice or ill will. Pennsylvania has not joined those states. In late September, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a plaintiff seeking to prove bad faith denial of an insurance claim under Pennsylvania law does not have to prove the insurance carrier did so as a result of subjective ill will or malice.

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Insurance bad faith award upheld by federal appellate court

July 10, 2017

It is not surprising when an insurer refuses to pay a covered claim. It is surprising when an insurer gets hit with a court order to pay millions for bad faith denial of a customer’s claim. And it is even more surprising when a federal appellate court upholds that order, as the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals did on July 7, 2017.   http://media.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/unpub/files/201614225.pdf The case arises out of a 2005 automobile accident that occurred when a Nationwide insured driver ran a red light, killing a young mother who was driving the car he hit. After the accident, Nationwide’s insured pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide. Nationwide had the opportunity to settle the wrongful death and estate claims of the mother’s surviving family members for the $100,000 policy limits and certain releases. Nationwide would only agree to settle if the family agree to indemnify Nationwide for any other claims or payments sought under the Nationwide policy. The family refused and filed a wrongful death case in Georgia state court against the insured driver. A jury awarded the family $5.83 million in wrongful death damages. After the verdict, the insured driver assigned to the family his right to bring a claim against Nationwide for bad faith failure to settle. The family filed suit against Nationwide in Georgia federal court. The parties agreed that a jury would determine liability, leaving the determination of damages to the judge. Nationwide argued that it was unfairly “set up” for bad faith and that that there is no tort of bad faith denial of insurance claim. The jury found Nationwide liable for negligent or bad faith failure to settle the claims made by the family against Nationwide’s insured. The district judge then ordered Nationwide to pay the family $5,730,000 in damages, plus interest of, at that time, $2,405,873. Nationwide appealed and lost. Nationwide has litigated this case for 12 years. Isn’t it about time to pay Nationwide? The case is Jesus Camacho, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., Case No. 16-14225.

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