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05 Sep 2014 Reference Handbook on the Commercial General Liability Policy

  The second edition of the Reference Handbook on the Commercial General Liability Policy, published by the Tort and Insurance Practice Section of the ABA, has just been released. The book provides concise discussions of the most salient points of the commercial general liability policy, including: who is an insured, trigger, occurrence, damages, exclusions, bad faith and the Bermuda and London markets. Chapter 13, on Allocation, is authored by Barnes & Thornburg insurance recovery partner, Christopher Yetka. More information can be found here. Chris YetkaChristopher H. Yetka is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Minneapolis, Minn. office and a member of the firm’s Litigation Department. Mr. Yetka concentrates his practice primarily on commercial litigation matters, particularly involving insurance recovery disputes. He enforces his clients’…

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29 Aug 2014 Scott Godes to Present “Be a Cyber Risk Hero: Understand the Risks & Learn Best Practices to Get Them Insured”

  Scott Godes, from Barnes & Thornburg’s Policyholder Insurance Recovery Group, will be presenting on cybersecurity and how to combat cyber threats at the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA).   During his presentation, “Be a Cyber Risk Hero: Understand the Risks & Learn Best Practices to Get Them Insured,” Scott will go more into detail of the latest cyber risks and best practices for getting insurance companies or other to pay the resulting costs.   The webinar will take place September 16 from 2 to 3 p.m.   For more information, contact USFIA at (202) 419-0444 or info@usfashionindustry.com. Scott GodesScott N. Godes is a veteran trial lawyer with experience in insurance coverage matters and technology issues. He is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg…

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28 Aug 2014 If Your System Was Attacked by “Backoff” Malware, Would Your Insurance Cover A Data Breach Involving Credit Card Numbers?

  The US Federal Government recently issued an alert regarding Backoff Point-of-Sale Malware. The advisory, which was released by the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and US-CERT (United Stated Computer Emergency Readiness Team), states the following:       This advisory was prepared in collaboration with the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), United States Secret Service (USSS), Financial Sector Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), and Trustwave Spiderlabs, a trusted partner under contract with the USSS. The purpose of this release is to provide relevant and actionable technical indicators for network defense against the PoS malware dubbed “Backoff” which has been discovered exploiting businesses’ administrator accounts remotely and exfiltrating consumer payment data.     US-CERT, Alert (TA14-212A), Backoff Point-of-Sale Malware, Department of Homeland Security…

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20 Aug 2014 Top 10 Reasons Insureds Don’t Report Claims or Circumstances (Part 2)

Part 2 of Top 10 Reasons Insureds Don’t Report Claims or Circumstances. Read Part 1.   6. It’s not covered. Your broker/agent, your risk manager or your trusted colleague in the legal department may tell you that the new lawsuit on your desk isn’t covered. You may review the policy and come to the same conclusion. But if you weren’t completely sure what every provision of the policy actually would cover, you can’t be sure it won’t cover that new lawsuit. You also may not be aware of possible coverage under another type of policy or one from a different time period. Your friendly outside coverage counsel may be able to help by taking a fresh look, but you can also just go ahead and give notice….

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19 Aug 2014 Top 10 Reasons Insureds Don’t Report Claims or Circumstances (Part 1)

  In your professional or your personal capacity, you probably have several opportunities to consider whether to report something to an insurance company. In many instances, there would be very little downside and plenty of upside potential if you go ahead and tell the insurer. Here are 10 reasons why insureds don’t report – and why those insureds may want to think again.   1. This demand letter is just an idle threat, and the allegations are meritless. The demand may come from an unimpressive lawyer, from an assistant regional manager of widget production or from an individual whose writing would get an F in elementary school. Or it may appear that there are no actual demands for monetary damages. You may be absolutely right that you…

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18 Aug 2014 SAVE THE DATE: Barnes & Thornburg’s National Insurance Recovery Seminar Set for September 25

  Mark your calendars for September 25, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. ET. The Policyholder Insurance Recovery & Coverage Litigation practice group at Barnes & Thornburg is hosting a seminar on a variety of insurance recovery issues.  The seminar will include the following topics: Insuring Cyber Losses – presented by attorneys Scott Godes and Carrie Raver Recovering Under Legacy Policies – presented by Jim Leonard and Kara Cleary Securing Choice of Defense Counsel – presented by Chris Jones and Ken Gorenberg.   The National Insurance Recovery Seminar will be simulcast to all of our 12 offices via video conference technology (Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Elkhart, Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, South Bend, Washington DC and Wilmington).  The seminar is complimentary and will include a…

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08 Aug 2014 American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel Elects Kenneth Gorenberg as New Member

Kenneth Gorenberg, a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Chicago office, has been elected to The American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC). Ken is a member of the firm’s Litigation Department and its Policyholder Insurance Recovery and Counseling Practice Group.   Established in 2012, the ACCEC is composed of preeminent coverage and extracontractual counsel in the United States and Canada, representing the interests of both insurers and policyholders. The College is focused on the creative, ethical and efficient adjudication of insurance coverage and extra-contractual disputes, peer-provided scholarship, professional coordination and the improvement of the relationship between and among its diverse members.   Ken’s insurance practice focuses on a number of complex issues for corporate policyholders. In addition to litigation of coverage disputes and negotiation of…

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06 Aug 2014 Insurance Company Can’t Take Discovery Potentially Harmful to Its Policyholder’s Defense

In its effort to avoid coverage, an insurance company may want to dig into facts that might undermine its policyholder’s defense of an underlying lawsuit. That strategy recently met a strong rebuke from the Supreme Court of Washington, and policyholders can cite this decision whenever their insurers seek discovery that could be prejudicial in the underlying case.   In Expedia, Inc. v. Steadfast Ins. Co., Expedia sought coverage for dozens of lawsuits filed by local taxing authorities alleging that Expedia failed to collect the right amount of local occupancy taxes from hotel customers. Zurich refused to defend, on various grounds including that Expedia’s actions were potentially willfully dishonest. Expedia sued for coverage and took discovery from Zurich regarding the meaning of key policy terms, and…

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01 Aug 2014 FIFTH CIRCUIT DECISION PUTS EXCESS INSURER BACK IN LINE. BUT WILL IT CURB THE “REVERSE FOLLOW FORM” PHENOMENON?

  In recent years, excess insurers have been challenging the constraints of their traditional “follow form” status by trying to influence how the underlying insurance must be paid out. After a string of judicial decisions favoring excess insurers, a decision issued by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in June marks a victory for policyholders hoping to stem the “reverse-follow-form” phenomenon. But as traditional concepts of follow form excess coverage continue to erode, policyholders should remain vigilant when evaluating their excess coverage.   The Evolution of “Follow Form” Excess Coverage   Policyholders purchase “follow form” excess insurance to gain piece of mind. Indeed, the very words “follow form” convey an image of a coverage tower in which each successive layer sits atop and follows the…

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25 Jul 2014 Recent Changes in Insurance Status Affects Companies Seeking Additional Insured Status

  For those companies that are seeking additional insured status, keep in mind that there have been major changes in how that insurance status is written. The Insurance Services Office, the drafter of many “standard form” insurance policies and endorsements, has been paring back coverage for additional insureds for many years.  It rolled out major overhauls to its standard form additional insured endorsements recently.  Insurance companies, too, have been tightening their own company forms, to the extent that they don’t use the ISO forms.   This area of insurance has evolved substantially over the years.  As one commentator has noted: “Twenty years ago, additional insured endorsements came in two flavors:  The short form and the long form.  Today there are more flavors than found in Baskin-Robbins…

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