March 16, 2017
All Texas businesses should be concerned about the potential passage of Senate Bill 10 (SB 10). While several lawmakers tout SB 10 as tailored legislation to curb “hailstorm lawsuit abuse,” SB 10 is much broader and impacts all policyholders. Indeed, SB 10 fails to reference “hail” or “hailstorm,” much less limit its impact to claims for hailstorm damage. SB 10 would meaningfully and adversely...
March 2, 2017
Major business interests are lining up against one of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s top priorities — a bill that would make it harder for Texans to force their insurance companies to pay up when calamity strikes. Patrick and his allies say the bill, Senate Bill 10, is needed to stop greedy trial lawyers from cashing in on hail damage lawsuits. But the word “hail” doesn’t appear anywhere in the......
February 2, 2017
Overall, 2016 ended on a positive note for the U.S. excess and surplus lines insurance industry, according to the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas (SLTX). Nationally, nearly $26 billion in surplus lines insurance premium was recorded for end-of-year 2016, which is a 3.27 percent rise from 2015. In addition, the amount of filings recorded in 2016 represents a 3.1 percent increase from that...
February 2, 2017
The phrase “new normal” might be a cliché, but it was too hard for Ben McKay, executive director of the Surplus Lines Association of California, to avoid using when describing the state’s excess and surplus market in 2016 and going forward. Surplus lines has become a larger and larger part of the state’s commercial insurance market over the past eight years, and then last year it seemed to reach...
December 22, 2016
On Dec. 19, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor published in the Federal Register sweeping reforms to the regulations it issues under Section 503 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, aimed at eliminating bias in the ERISA disability claims and review process. Despite ERISA’s reputation as an erudite law affecting primarily pension plans, the DOL reports that, “An empirical study of......
December 14, 2016
New York's highest court sent shockwaves through the insurance industry this year when it ruled that Viking Pump and Warren Pumps could hold policies in a single year liable for their entire loss from scores of asbestos claims while other courts issued key guidance on coverage for faulty workmanship and property damage with multiple causes. Here, Law360 looks back at the five biggest insurance...
September 14, 2016
Steep mountains, narrow valleys and a deadly train of storms came together in West Virginia to cause the horrendous flooding that killed 23 people last week, forced thousands to evacuate and destroyed or damaged thousands of homes and businesses. West Virginia got hit by a phenomenon meteorologists call 'training' because the thunderstorms line up over the same location like the cars of a freight...
August 1, 2016
A Long Island engineering company and one of its former executives were charged on Monday in a scheme to minimize insurance payments to homeowners whose residences were damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. In a 50-count indictment , Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, accused the company, GEB Hi-Rise Engineering, of Uniondale, N.Y., and Matthew Pappalardo, a former director, of...
July 22, 2016
FOR the better part of a week last year, Nancy Wergeles searched her home in Weston, Conn., for the engagement ring her husband had given her 53 years before. They had had a string of health care aides in their home and were also putting their house on the market, so real estate agents had been coming through, too. “I just felt really bad about this,” said Ms. Wergeles, 73. “The ring could have...
May 10, 2016
Texans whose vehicles were damaged or destroyed by this April’s flooding may be eligible to receive federal assistance to repair or replace the vehicle. “Those who may be eligible include not just residents of the designated counties, but also those who were working in or visiting those areas between April 17 and April 24 and had disaster-related damage to their vehicle,” said Federal......