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BT Policyholder Protection Blog
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16 Sep 2016 Renewal is a Time to Think Critically About Your Insurance Program

  The approaching year-end means many commercial policyholders will be going through the process of renewing their property and casualty insurance coverage. Whether renewal occurs at year-end or mid-year, it is a time when smart policyholders will be thoughtful and proactive about making sure their insurance program provides the best possible protection. No single checklist could possibly capture the numerous and varied issues that commercial policyholders might want to carefully consider. That said, below is a list of issues policyholders may want to examine as they go through the renewal process, keeping your own individual circumstances in mind.   Defense of liability claims – Having coverage for the costs of defending litigation can be one of the most important benefits of commercial liability insurance. The…

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14 Sep 2016 Upcoming Webinar: Drafting Indemnification and Hold Harmless Provisions in Commercial Contracts

  Ken Gorenberg of Barnes & Thornburg’s Chicago office will be speaking in an upcoming Strafford live webinar, “Drafting Indemnification and Hold Harmless Provisions in Commercial Contracts,” scheduled for Wednesday, October 19, 1:00pm-2:30pm EDT.   Indemnification and hold harmless provisions are included in most commercial contracts, including sales agreements, leases, lending agreements, software licenses, construction contracts and M&A agreements. These clauses allow parties to contractually allocate risk and reduce liability exposure. Effective indemnification clauses clearly outline risks that are indemnified, exclusions from indemnity, and procedures for making an indemnification claim.   When negotiating and drafting indemnification and hold harmless clauses, counsel for contracting parties must anticipate and address potential statutory limitations, as well as enforcement and procedural hurdles.   The panel will review these and other…

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06 Sep 2016 Scott Godes Quoted in Law360’s “3 Tips For Manufacturers To Insure The Internet Of Things”

Scott Godes, partner and co-chair of the firm’s Data Security and Privacy Practice Group, was recently quoted in “3 Tips For Manufacturers To Insure The Internet Of Things,” published by Law360.   Law360 recently wrote an article about the risks that manufacturers of IoT products face in connection with cybersecurity and data privacy. In the article, Scott said: “You would hope as a cyberinsurance buyer that a privacy or network security incident would be covered under your policy, regardless of whether it is based on an internet of things incident or a more traditional infiltration of a network server.”   Read the full article here. Scott GodesScott N. Godes is a veteran trial lawyer with experience in insurance coverage matters and technology issues. He is a partner in…

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17 Aug 2016 Upcoming Webinar on Aug. 23: What Keeps You Up At Night?

  It can be invaluable to implement a strong compliance program and back it up with a well-considered insurance program. Barnes & Thornburg’s compliance, insurance and white collar attorneys are hosting a complimentary webinar on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 3 p.m. (Eastern) that will introduce tools to evaluate and manage emerging risks – the ones that keep you up at night and how they can be covered by insurance.   Specifically, our insurance recovery attorneys will discuss insurance coverage that may be available for government investigation and litigation defense under a variety of policies, including directors and officers (D&O), professional errors and omissions (E&O), cybercrime, and commercial general liability policies. Reviewing your coverage may result in finding “hidden treasure” that might relieve your company – and individual…

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08 Aug 2016 Insurance, Indemnification, and Limitation of Liability Provisions in Business Contracts

  If your job includes reviewing, drafting or negotiating contracts, you’ve probably seen these provisions. Are they boilerplate that you spend little time on? Do you fully understand exactly what they do? Do you negotiate or revise them?   Allocation of Risk   Fundamentally, the purpose of insurance, indemnification, and limitation clauses is to allocate risks. In general, insurance transfers risk from the contracting parties to a third party—an insurance company. Indemnification usually transfers risk between the parties to the contract. Limitation of liability prevents or limits the transfer of risk between the parties.   With those basic concepts in mind, think about the risks that arise out or relate to the contract. Take the time to imagine nightmare scenarios as well as other events…

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02 Aug 2016 Scott Godes Quoted in Law360’s “Insurance Regulation And Legislation: Midyear Report”

  Scott Godes, partner and co-chair of the firm’s Data Security and Privacy Practice Group, was recently quoted in “Insurance Regulation And Legislation: Midyear Report,” published by Law360.   In the article, Scott pointed out that European authorities have stated that the Privacy Shield ensures that every complaint against a company over purportedly lax data security practices will be dealt with and resolved. As such, corporate policyholders engaging in trans-Atlantic data transfers need to re-examine their insurance programs and make sure their coverage is broad enough to address the costs of responding to consumer and regulatory actions.   Read the full article here. Scott GodesScott N. Godes is a veteran trial lawyer with experience in insurance coverage matters and technology issues. He is a partner in Barnes &…

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01 Aug 2016 Business Insurance 101: Back to the Basics

  Insurance coverage cases often involve complex or unusual issues. Similarly, blogs and insurance newsletters typically revolve around breaking decisions or new trends in the market. In this realm, insurance basics and best practices can be overlooked. Because insurance policies and insurance law can be murky for those who don’t deal with it frequently, I recently gave a presentation about the basics of insurance for businesses. This post summarizes some high level points that we discussed.   What are common types of policies for companies? Commercial general liability, products liability, property, directors & officers, professional liability, employment practices liability, crime and cyber, to name a few. A company should work closely with its broker to identify the types and limits of coverage it should consider…

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19 Jul 2016 Don’t Forget About Pre-Judgment Interest on Wrongfully Withheld Policy Benefits

  Has your insurer informed you that belated payment of policy benefits somehow “cures” any prior delay and insulates the insurer from any further liability?   Don’t believe it. In fact, under California law a wide range of damages are potentially available for an insurer’s failure to timely pay an insurance claim under a bad faith theory. These include, among other things, consequential damages for the insurer’s tortious conduct – such as attorneys’ fees incurred in seeking the subject policy benefits – and punitive damages upon a proper showing.   Bad faith damages, however, do not constitute the sole remaining policyholder remedy for wrongfully withheld policy benefits.  Indeed, insureds often forget that pre-judgment interest is available in instances where the benefits sought are capable of…

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12 Jul 2016 In Determining Duty to Defend, Wisconsin Supreme Court Clarifies Four-Corners Rule

  In coverage actions, policyholders (and their attorneys) frequently rely on the well-accepted principle that an insurer’s duty to defend is broader than its duty to indemnify. Indeed, given the ever-escalating costs of litigation, obtaining coverage for a policyholder’s defense can be just as, if not more, important than obtaining coverage for the resulting settlement or judgment.   Recently, however, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued two opinions that serve as reminders that an insurer’s duty to defend, while broad, is not unlimited. The cases provide insight into how courts evaluate an insurer’s duty to defend and reveal some factors policyholders should consider when confronted with an insurer that denies such coverage.   Marks v. Houston Casualty Company   In Marks v. Houston Casualty Company, No….

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23 Jun 2016 Iowa Supreme Court Joins Other Courts to Hold That Defective Work of a Subcontractor can be an “Occurrence” Under the Modern Standard-Form CGL Policy

On June 10, 2016, the Iowa Supreme Court, in a split decision, clarified and changed Iowa law regarding insurance coverage for construction defects. Among other things, the majority decision holds that the modern standard-form CGL policy provides “coverage for property damage arising out of defective work performed by an insured’s subcontractor unless the resulting property damage is specifically precluded from coverage by an exclusion or endorsement.” The decision discusses in detail the history and evolution of the standard CGL policy form, including the 1986 addition of the subcontractor exception to the “your work” exclusion, and observes that it would be “illogical for an insurance policy to contain an exclusion negating coverage its insuring agreement did not actually provide or an exception to exclusion restoring it.”   Iowa…

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