The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, applying Illinois law, has held that there is no coverage under a D&O policy where the insured did not timely report a declaratory judgment lawsuit and instead sought coverage only after an amended complaint was filed in the successive policy period.  Hanover Ins. Co. v. R.W. Dunteman Co., 2020 WL 1275002 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 17, 2020).  The court held that the complaints were part of a single “claim” and not separate “claims” even though the amended complaint added insured defendants and theories of liability.

Continue Reading

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, applying Washington law, has held that a district court erred in concluding that a demand letter and suit alleging the same wrongful act constituted a “single claim” where the applicable professional liability policy lacked a related claims provision.  Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. v. Zillow, Inc., 2020 WL 774366 (9th Cir. Feb. 18, 2020).  The court of appeals declined, however, to find that the absence of a related claims provision resolved the coverage issue and remanded for consideration of extrinsic evidence to determine the parties’ intent.

Continue Reading

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, applying Texas law, has held that an insurer could not deny coverage due to the insured’s failure to comply with “immaterial” conditions of notice, absent a showing of prejudice, where an insured complied with its “material” obligation to report a claim.  Landmark Am. Ins. Co. v. Lonergan Law Firm, P.L.L.C., 2020 WL 833068 (5th Cir. Feb. 19, 2020).

Continue Reading

Applying New York law, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has held that, because a subpoena duces tecum previously issued to the insured by a post-judgment creditor of a non-insured entity was not a “Claim” against the insured, the subpoena and a later-filed lawsuit against the insured could not qualify as “Related Claims” deemed first made when the subpoena was issued. Protective Specialty Ins. Co. v. Castle Title Ins. Agency, Inc., 2020 WL 550700 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 3, 2020). The court also held that the “warranty exclusion” in the application for the policy (in which the insured warranted that it was “not aware of any incident or circumstance which may result in a claim”) did not bar coverage for the lawsuit, even though the insured failed to disclose the subpoena in the application.

Continue Reading

Applying Maryland law, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland has held that an insurer had no right to allocate a global settlement of two underlying lawsuits between covered and non-covered claims, where the damages sought in each action were identical and based on the same misconduct.  Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. The Fund for Animals, Inc., 2019 WL 7369221 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. Dec. 30, 2019).

Continue Reading

Applying Ohio law, a federal district court has held that misrepresentations in an application warranty statement regarding three unreported lawsuits filed against the insured during the initial policy period rendered a renewed claims-made and reported policy void ab initioCertain Underwriters at Lloyds London Subscribing to Policy No.  HMPL 18-0164 & HMPL 17-0158 v. KG Admin. Servs., Inc., 2019 WL 6770061 (N.D. Ohio Dec. 12, 2019).  The court also held that, because the claims were not reported during the initial policy period, the insurer did not have any coverage obligations under the initial policy.

Continue Reading

Applying Ohio law, an Ohio appellate court has held that renewal of a claims-made policy does not extend the time by which an insured may report a claim.  ISCO Indus., Inc. v. Great Am. Ins. Co., 2019 WL 6353709 (Ohio Ct. App. Nov. 27, 2019).  The court further held that the “notice prejudice” rule does not apply because coverage under a claims-made policy is generally restricted to claims made and reported during the policy period.

Continue Reading

The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, applying Minnesota law, has held that coverage is unavailable where the insured failed to report the claim to its insurer “as soon as practicable” as required by the policy’s notice provision.  Citizens Ins. Co. of Am. v. Assessment Sys. Corp., 2019 WL 4014955 (D. Minn. Aug. 26, 2019).

Continue Reading