New Jersey Legislature Considers Bill Requiring Insurers to Pay for Coronavirus-Related Business Interruption Losses Regardless of Policy Terms

In an effort to curb the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), federal, state and local governments are asking people to stay home. New Jersey, for instance, declared a state of emergency on March 9, 2020 and cities and townships have followed suit, imposing restrictions on local gatherings and business hours. Such mandates – and the general effort to flatten the curve – will impact small businesses as fewer people venture out and otherwise limit non-essential activities. In turn, businesses will suffer financial losses, some forced …

Continue Reading

Second Circuit Holds That Policy May Be Rescinded Before a Claim is Submitted for Coverage

The Second Circuit has held that an insurer need not wait until a claim is submitted under its policy in order to seek rescission of the policy based on a material misrepresentation by the insured. U.S. Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Orion Plumbing & Heating Corp., 18-2286-CV, 2019 WL 1253325.

The dispute arose under a policy issued in May 2012, which was later cancelled as a result of the insured’s failure to pay premiums. However, an incident involving bodily injury occurred prior to the policy’s …

Continue Reading

Insurer’s Reliance on Prior Unpublished Decision Sufficient To Defeat Bad Faith Claim

In Badiali v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group, 2015 WL 668206 (N.J. Feb. 18, 2015), the New Jersey Supreme Court found that an uninsured motorist carrier did not commit bad faith by acting in accordance with an unpublished decision from a case it previously litigated.

The policyholder was involved in a car accident with an uninsured motorist. He filed an uninsured motorist claim with his employer’s insurer and his personal insurer. The matter was arbitrated, and the policyholder was awarded $29,148.62. The personal insurer …

Continue Reading

Insurer’s Policy Exclusion Bars Its Own Claim for Damages

The Eastern District of Louisiana cited to an insurer’s own policy exclusion for “faulty workmanship, repair or construction” to prohibit the insurer from seeking damages.  The damages being sought amounted to more than $2.8 million, including for damage caused by roofing repair work.  The work was performed on a commercial building that was damaged by Hurricane Issac.

In making its decision, the court indicated that its policyholder was seeking coverage due to hurricane damage, not faulty repairs relative to the hurricane damage.  Since the “faulty …

Continue Reading