Late Notice Under Claims Made Policy Confounds The Psychics

I have discussed before late notice issues under general liability policies.  The basic rule is that a policyholder needs to give its insurer notice “as soon as practicable” after a claim is made, which typically means within a few months.  Under an occurrence-based policy such as a Comprehensive General Liability policy, if the claim is reported …

In “Other Insurance” News: “Escape Clause” Beats “Excess Clause”

I know “other insurance” issues can be esoteric, but they are also increasingly important to insurance disputes.  They are so important that I did a CLE presentation recently that focused almost exclusively on the impact of the “other insurance” clause on deductibles and self-insured retentions (program materials can be found here). The “other insurance” clause …

Another One Bites the Dust: Florida Appellate Court Reaffirms Favorable Occurrence Test

Number of occurrences is a critical issue in many insurance coverage disputes.  In the World Trade Center coverage cases, it was a billion dollar issue.  The dispute arises in everything from product liability coverage cases, to environmental coverage cases, to automobile and dog bite cases. Number of occurrences cuts both ways in coverage litigation.  In …

Myth # 6: Your Insurance Company Selects Your Defense Counsel

It has been a fairly quiet summer for insurance coverage decisions in Florida, and it has been a while since I added an installment to my series on Commercial Insurance Myths & Misconceptions. So let’s talk about selection of defense counsel. When appointing counsel to defend a newly-filed lawsuit, insurers typically announce to their policyholder …

Florida Supreme Court to 11th Circuit on Policy Ambiguities: “We Meant What We Said and Said What We Meant”

Last March I wrote about the 11th Circuit’s decision in Ruderman v. Washington National Insurance Corp., No. 10-14714 (11th Cir. Feb. 17, 2012) (appeal of docket No. 1:08-cv-234011-JIC), in which the court certified to the Florida Supreme Court the question of whether an ambiguous insurance policy provision is automatically construed against an insurer or whether the insurer can …

Florida Supreme Court Endorses Enhanced Fee Shifting For Contractual Indemnity Claims

It has been a quiet period for insurance coverage opinions in Florida.  Today I want to discuss an important decision from the Florida Supreme Court that did not involve a coverage dispute but will have an impact on coverage and indemnity disputes going forward.  The case is First Baptist Church of Cape Coral, Florida, Inc., …

Additional Insured Entitled to Independent Defense Counsel

In University of Miami v. Great American Assurance Company, No. 3D09-2010 (Fla. 3d. DCA Feb. 20, 2013), the Third DCA held that an insurance company had to pay for separate and independent defense counsel to defend its additional insured.  The coverage dispute arose out of a tragic incident in which a four-year-old child suffered severe injuries …

Florida Supreme Court Upholds Tort Claims Against Insurance Brokers & Finally Kills the Economic Loss Rule

It took the Florida Supreme Court two years after oral argument to come to its senses and reaffirm the right of Florida policyholders to sue their insurance brokers for negligence.  The Court’s decision in Tiara Condominium Association, Inc., etc. v. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., et al., No. SC10-1022 (March 7, 2013) is groundbreaking in several …