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BT Policyholder Protection Blog
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11 Oct 2016 When the Damage is Done Are You Prepared to Litigate Against Your Insurance Company?

In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, there will certainly be a wave of claims and possible denials of coverage by insurance companies.  Before the storm hit, we heard a great deal about “preparedness” for the storm.  But, how prepared is your company if it has to litigate a claim against its insurance company?  Litigation against any party is often a costly and lengthy process.  Insurance coverage disputes are no different and often involve more aggressive tactics by the insurance company early in the case.   Here are some best practices for companies facing insurance coverage denials:   Re-review the denial letter and consider whether litigation is the best strategy You may want to consider other tactics against the insurance company, like using renewal time or…

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07 Dec 2015 Is the “Ancient Documents” Hearsay Exception Going to be Ancient History in 2016 and What Impact Will it Have on Proving Missing Insurance Policies?

Next year, we may see the end of the hearsay exception for “ancient documents” found in Federal Rule of Evidence 803. Rule 803(16) has long held that “a statement in a document that is at least 20 years old and whose authenticity is established” is not excluded by the hearsay rule. This exception is often used in the insurance context when trying to prove the existence and terms of old, missing liability policies when a company has a latent claim. It appears the push to eliminate the ancient documents hearsay exception may go hand in hand with the rise of e-discovery and recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to address e-discovery issues that took effect on Dec. 1.   However, when a…

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14 Jul 2015 Scott Godes Quoted in Law360 Article, “4 Insurance Takeaways from Lloyd’s Cyberattack Report”

Scott Godes, partner and co-chair of the firm’s Data Security and Privacy Practice Group, was recently quoted in Law360’s article, “4 Insurance Takeaways from Lloyd’s Cyberattack Report.”   Lloyd’s of London recently co-wrote a report predicting that a major cyberattack on the East Coast could trigger $70 billion in covered insurance claims. The article examines four takeaways for insurers and policyholders.   Godes noted that the report admits there could be coverage for cyber-based events in multiple types of insurance policies.  He also suggests that the insurance industry should introduce a cyberinsurance policy parallel to a commercial package policy, providing coverage for all types of losses resulting from a cyber event.   He is quoted multiple times in the article.  In one, he is quoted…

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13 Mar 2015 Should Retailers Rely On CGL Coverage For Data Breaches?

In the past year, multiple cases have disputed whether commercial general liability insurance policies provide coverage for lawsuits related to data breaches and data privacy incidents. At least two matters are on appeal. The question of whether there is CGL coverage for those lawsuits is quite significant, particularly to retailers that have suffered data privacy incidents involving payment cards (i.e., credit and debit cards). CGL coverage can provide overlapping coverage with cyberinsurance policies, if not its own independent coverage, and defense costs under CGL policies frequently do not erode policy limits.   As a starting point, standard-form CGL policies provide coverage for all sums that an insured is liable to pay as damages because of bodily injury, property damage and personal and advertising injury. Bodily…

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17 Nov 2014 Scott Godes to Speak About Insurance Coverage for Asbestos Claims at ACI’s 18th National Advanced Forum on Asbestos Claims & Litigation

Scott Godes, a partner with Barnes & Thornburg, will be speaking at the upcoming American Conference Institute’s (ACI) 18th National Advanced Forum on Asbestos Claims & Litigation held January 15-16 in Philadelphia.   Scott’s session is Insurance Coverage Issues: Pursuing Claims Against Bankrupt, Dissolved, or Defunct Entities; Issues Involving Joint Insurers and Non-Settling Insurers; Trigger, Exhaustion and Allocation Nuances; Assignment of Policies and Proceeds; and Developments with Respect to CUMIS Counsel.   The presentation will include: A review of the Continental Casualty (aka Keasbey) case that allowed plaintiffs to proceed against a company not in business anymore but still had an insurance policy in place Developments in the law regarding asbestos claimants’ ability to proceed against defunct entities In-depth analysis of what happens to insurance…

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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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