New York Court Takes a Bite Out of Multiple Occurrences Argument

A New York Federal District Court recently held that an attack by two dogs upon two pedestrians constituted a single occurrence under the dog owners’ homeowners policy.  In so holding, the court rejected use of the “unfortunate events” test to determine the number of occurrences because the policy language required that all injuries arising from the same general conditions would be considered to be the result of one occurrence, regardless of the number of claimants.  As a result, the insurer’s liability was limited to the …

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NYDFS Notifies Federal Regulators of New Potential Cyber Security Regulations

On November 9, 2015, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) sent a memorandum entitled Potential New NYDFS Cyber Security Regulation Requirements to several federal and state financial services regulators, including banking, securities and insurance regulatory, administrative and supervisory  bodies.

These potential regulations are based on results of two sets of surveys of financial entities about their “cyber security programs, costs and future plans.” NYDFS surveyed 150 banks and 43 insurance companies. The results of the May 2014 banking industry survey are here

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One Detached Dump Truck, Three Occurrences: The “Unfortunate Event” Test in New York

One of the key issues in many insurance disputes is the number of “occurrences,” which are presented by a particular set of facts relating to a claim submitted by the policy holder. In its recent decision of Nat’l Liab. & Fire Ins. Co. v. Itzkowitz, the Second Circuit was called upon to determine whether the events surrounding an incident on the highway involving three separate vehicles were part of one single occurrence under New York law.

The events surrounding this coverage action were caused …

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Exceptional Circumstances are Required for Relief in a Claim for Bad Faith

In a favorable decision to insurers on the issue of bad faith, the New York Northern District was recently called upon to determine whether an insured under a Homeowner’s policy had stated a viable cause of action. In Ripka v. Safeco Ins., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67595 (N.D.N.Y May 26, 2015), the District Court made it clear that New York courts will not, except in very limited circumstances, award tort and punitive damages in addition to contract damages against insurers who deny claims.

Following …

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Timing is Key in Determining Primary/Excess Obligations for Claims against Multiple Insureds

A recent Eleventh Circuit decision warns of the dangers in handling claims against multiple insureds. In Nova Casualty Co. v. OneBeacon America Insurance Co., (U.S. Ct. Apps., 11th Cir., Mar. 17, 2015) the district court for the Southern District of Florida granted summary judgment in favor of the primary insurer, finding that although it had breached its duty to defend and indemnify an additional insured in the underlying action, the excess insurer was not entitled to damages because the primary insurer had …

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New York Amends Controversial Provisions of Replacement Regulation

After almost two decades, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has approved amendments to New York Insurance Regulation 60, which will now permit insurance agents to immediately bind coverage where an existing life insurance policy or annuity contract is being replaced. The Third Amendment to Regulation 60, effective April 21, 2015, will allow insurers to begin underwriting new applicants on an expedited basis and will make buying insurance over the internet more feasible. Insurance agents and insurers will have to decide whether they …

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NY Dept. of Financial Services Requests Detailed Cyber Security Reports From Insurers

Cyber security is clearly one of the highest priorities — if not the top concern — for regulators in 2015. Late last month, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) sent more than 160 licensed insurers a New York Insurance Law Section 308 Letter seeking a detailed report regarding their cyber security practices and procedures. The Section 308 Letter — to which there is now less than three weeks to respond — also provides greater insight into the scope of cyber security examinations that …

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Insurers Reach the Summit: N.Y. Court of Appeals Reverses K2, Says Exclusions Not Lost in Breach of Duty to Defend

After granting reargument, the New York State Court of Appeals reversed its previous decision finding that the rule of stare decisis must govern and that the court erred by failing to take account of controlling precedent in Servidone Const. Corp. v. Sec. Ins. Co. of Hartford. In that previous decision, K2-I, the court arguably rewrote New York law by adopting a minority position that recognized the doctrine of coverage by estoppel ruling that where an insurer breaches its duty to defend, it has …

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Insurers’ Goal Line Stand: California Coverage Action Stayed While New York Case Marches On

National Football League v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co.
(Cal. App. Ct. May 28, 2013)
A California appellate court recently affirmed a stay of California litigation commenced by the NFL against multiple insurers seeking coverage for traumatic brain injury cases. The court held that the NFL was not a California resident for purposes of a forum non conveniens analysis even though it has three teams in California.

The NFL administration and its intellectual property marketing arm were sued in multiple states by dozens of former players …

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