New York Appellate Court Permits Use of Extrinsic Facts to “Clarify Ambiguous Pleadings” and Establish the Applicability of a Policy’s Auto Exclusion

On October 23, 2018, our Global Insurance Services group hosted an interactive webinar discussing states’ varying interpretations of what is considered “loading and unloading” in the context of a liability policy’s “Aircraft, Auto or Watercraft” exclusion. During that presentation, we identified inconsistencies in the courts’ application of this provision when assessing an insurer’s duty to defend, particularly in New York. Ironically, that same day, a New York Appellate Court analyzing the application of a the “Aircraft, Auto or Watercraft” exclusion relied on facts extrinsic to …

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Insurance Making a Summer Splash in Hot Washington, D.C. — Senate Votes to Start Healthcare Debate and Trump Signs Covered Agreement with EU

Amidst the sizzling news of investigations and conversations about North Korea and terrorism, insurance is making its own headlines in the nation’s capital this summer. Congress is debating repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Trump Administration has signed off on the Covered Agreement with the European Union.

Most of the insurance news out of Washington, D.C. is centered on Republican efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. Several packages are currently on the table. In May 2017, the House of Representatives …

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President Trump Takes Aim at Affordable Care Act; New York Governor Responds

Within hours of taking the Presidential oath of office, President Donald J. Trump issued his first executive order and it was directed at the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The executive order formalized the Trump Administration’s policy to “seek the prompt repeal of the [“ACA”].” President Trump then directed executive department heads to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement” of the [ACA] that would impose a fiscal or regulatory burden on those affected in any …

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SCOTUS Orders Parties to Brief on Possible Compromise in ACA Case

On March 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Zubik, et al. v. Burwell, the case in which religious not-for-profits are challenging the process in which they can claim a religious exemption to the contraception requirement in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On Tuesday, March 29, 2016, the court issued an unusual order hinting the court might be looking for some kind of compromise to deal with this highly controversial case.

The court’s order requests supplemental briefing on whether there is …

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Supreme Court in Transition: What Happens to the ACA Case?

On Saturday, February 13, 2016, United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the longest serving justice on the Supreme Court, died in his sleep while on a hunting trip in Texas. One of the big questions now is what happens to the cases currently before the Court, especially those cases that were largely expected to be decided 5-4 while Justice Scalia was alive.

Among those high profile cases is another one on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Geneva College v. Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of Health

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Controversial Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act Passes Senate, Will Likely Become Law

This post originally appeared on Goldberg Segalla’s Data Privacy and Security blog. 

On October 27, 2015, the United States Senate passed S.754, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA or the Act) 74-21. Without requiring such information sharing, CISA would create a system for federal agencies to receive threat information from private companies in real time.

However, the bill is not without controversy. As we discussed in August the Department of Homeland Security raised concerns in July and August that the “real time collaboration

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Federal Cyber Legislation – Hurry Up and Wait

In recent months, two more companies in the healthcare industry have been hacked. UCLA Health announced on July 17, 2015 that it was the victim of a “criminal cyber attack” and “as many as 4.5 million individual potentially may have bene involved in the attack.”  This comes on the heels of another attack in May 2015 against Medical Informatics Engineering whose subsidiary is NoMoreClipboard, an online medical information sharing service used by patient and physicians alike.  Both of these episodes are the latest in attacks …

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NY Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Bill Dies With Close of Legislative Session

The 2015 Legislative Session in New York came to a close in the wee hours of June 26. Among the bills introduced this session was S-4049/A-0257 amending the New York Insurance Law with respect to unfair claims settlement practices. Specifically, the bill, if enacted, would have established “a civil private cause of action by a policyholder who has suffered unfair claim settlement practices by an insurer.” Current law allows policy holders with these grievances against their insurers to file a complaint with the …

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Court Issues Decision in “20 Percent of Something is Better Than 100 Percent of Nothing” Case

Judge Thomas C. Wheeler of the U.S. Federal Court of Claims has issued a decision in one of the most watched cases directly tied with the government response to the 2008 financial crisis.  In Starr International Company, Inc. v. The United States, Starr International challenged the bailout of AIG in which the federal government took shareholder equity and management control. Prior to the crisis, Starr (whose controlling shareholder is former AIG executive Hank Greenberg) was a major shareholder in AIG. The resulting bailout considerably …

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LIMA: A New Liability Exit Strategy Comes to the U.S.

On February 19, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed the Legacy Insurance Management Act (LIMA). The law enables a non-admitted insurer in the U.S. or abroad to transfer closed blocks of commercial insurance/reinsurance business with outstanding liabilities, together with the reserves relating to those liabilities, to Vermont-admitted insurers or other investors. These Vermont entities would then assume all financial and legal liabilities associated with these insurance policies/reinsurance agreements. This law, the first of its kind in the U.S., creates a legal, regulatory, and structural framework for …

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