Illinois Federal District Court Determines Policy Intent Trumps Policy Language

In an interesting decision handed down late last year, an Illinois federal district court in Ohio Security Insurance Company v. Truck Tire Sales, Inc. determined coverage was not available after carefully considering the policy intent and application for insurance. The district court held that irrespective of broad policy language, “the policy reflects that it was sought for the purpose of insuring [the insured’s] activities related only to [one part of its business].”

The dispute arose when an employee of the named insured, Truck Tire Sales, …

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What Is Modern Warfare? Ninth Circuit Rules War Exclusions Do Not Preclude Coverage for First Party Loss Caused by Hamas Rocket Attacks

On July 12, 2019, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found two “war” exclusions inapplicable, under California law, to a loss caused by 2014 hostilities between Israel and Hamas. Universal Cable Productions, LLC v. Atlantic Specialty Insurance Co., No. 17-56672, 2019 WL 3049034 (July 12, 2019). In doing so, the court overturned the Central District of California’s award of summary judgment in favor of Atlantic Specialty Insurance Company.

The parties’ dispute arose out of Atlantic’s refusal to indemnify Universal for costs associated with Universal’s …

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Absent Policyholder Demand To Settle, Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Bad Faith Action Against Insurer After Unexpected Excess Judgment

The Seventh Circuit, applying Illinois law, recently tackled the highly-charged issue of a bad faith claim against an insurer for failing to settle for the policy limit. In Surgery Center at 900 North Michigan Avenue, LLC v. American Physicians Assurance Corp., Inc., the Seventh Circuit closely scrutinized the facts and affirmed the trial court’s decision that the insurer did not act in bad faith.

 The coverage dispute arose between the Surgery Center at 900 North Michigan Avenue, LLC (Surgery Center) and its insurer when …

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What on Earth? Court Finds Ambiguous Property Appraisal Award for Earthquake Damage

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois recently held that outstanding coverage issues and an ambiguous notation in an appraisal award precluded a finding that an insurer satisfied its coverage obligations. Windsor Oaks, LLC v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., No. 17-CV-689-SMY-SCW, 2018 WL 4303141 (S.D. Ill. Sept. 10, 2018).

The insured, a hotel owner, submitted to its insurer a property claim for earthquake damage. The insurer retained an engineering expert, who determined the hotel did not sustain earthquake damage. Accordingly, the insurer …

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Illinois Appellate Court Reaffirms Trigger Date for Malicious Prosecution Offense Under Coverage B

In First Mercury Insurance Company v. Ciolino, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District waded into the sea-change concerning the trigger of coverage for malicious prosecution offenses under a liability policy. The First District joined the other districts to consider the issue, departed from the Seventh Circuit’s Erie prediction, and reasoned that the trigger date for malicious prosecution coverage will be similar under law enforcement liability and commercial general liability policies.

The facts giving rise to the coverage dispute stem from a lawsuit filed by …

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Sixth Circuit Uses Every Tool in the Box To Build Case for Coverage for Defrauded Policyholder

July 12, 2018, we reported on the Medidata decision handed down by the Second Circuit in which the court found coverage for a claim resulting from social engineering fraud. We suggested the ruling in Medidata lacks persuasive power due to its unusual factual circumstances and atypical policy language. The Sixth Circuit’s decision in American Tooling Center, Inc. v. Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. of America, No. 17-2014, 2018 WL 3404708 (6th Cir. July 13, 2018), will have more persuasive power, but due to …

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Second Circuit’s Decision Upholding Social Engineering Fraud Coverage Likely a Paper Tiger

In a case closely monitored by the insurance industry, the Second Circuit upheld in a non-precedential summary order a New York federal district court’s summary judgment finding coverage under the computer fraud coverage of a commercial crime policy. Medidata Solutions, Inc. v. Fed. Ins. Co., No. 17-2492, 2018 WL 3339245 (2d Cir. 2018). Although the policyholders are apt to tout the decision as a seismic victory, the atypical policy language and factual circumstances should greatly limit its persuasive value.

As background, the insured, Medidata …

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Landers and Restoring Time for Appraisals

Troy Beecher, an experienced insurance coverage attorney in Goldberg Segalla’s Orlando office, scrutinizes a recent decision from a Florida District Court of Appeal, Landers v. State Farm Florida Insurance Company, which liberalizes and encourages insurance bad faith litigation in Florida.  Troy delves into the decision and why it undermines the purpose behind civil remedy notices.  Troy otherwise discusses how the court neutered safeguards to a flood of bad faith action litigation stemming from property coverage disputes.  Troy also shares his predictions on how the …

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Introducing Timely Notice: What’s New and Exciting in Insurance Law

Timely Notice is your on-the-go source for sharp takes and expert analysis of the latest trends, breaking news, and sea-changes in global insurance law and the insurance marketplace.

With episodes hosted by Goldberg Segalla partners, including Jonathan Schwartz and Sharon Angelino, Timely Notice offers intelligent insights, frequently delivered, and in easy-to-digest episodes you can access any time. The podcast will feature discussions with outside and in-house counsel, claims professionals, underwriters, brokers, and other insurance industry professionals. Whether you listen on your work-week commute, while …

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Illinois Supreme Court Puts the Brakes on Named Driver Exclusion

The Illinois Supreme Court held in Thounsavath v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 2018 IL 122558, that an insurer cannot rely on a named driver exclusion to deny underinsured motorist coverage to its insured because the exclusion is unenforceable under Illinois’ mandatory automobile insurance statutory scheme and the state’s public policy.

State Farm provided automobile liability and uninsured motorist (UM)/underinsured motorist (UIM)coverage to Thounsavath, which contained a named driver exclusion stating no liability shall attach “while any motor vehicle is operated by …

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