The Road to Insurance Recovery
- Posts by Robyn L. AndersonCounsel
Robyn Anderson has represented policyholders in their insurance coverage claims and disputes for more than 20 years. At the forefront of her practice is environmental insurance coverage litigation, wherein she has helped clients ...
Baylor College of Medicine fought the good fight and won. After a three-day trial in Harris County, Texas, the jury returned a verdict against certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, finding that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, caused physical loss or damage to Baylor College’s property, and that the insured had coverage for more than $48 million in business interruption, extra expense and research losses.
Last week’s GEICO decision drew national attention for its salacious facts – a Missouri woman secured a $5.2 million judgment for a sexually transmitted disease she caught while having unprotected sex in her boyfriend’s car, and GEICO, the boyfriend’s auto insurer, may ultimately be on the hook.
Policyholders that are still fighting their insurers for COVID-19 business interruption losses will want to take note of a recent policyholder win, this time from a federal court sitting in Texas.
Peloton Interactive enjoyed a surge of sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its newly released exercise equipment and its high-energy fitness classes, available on demand, were the perfect fit for health-minded, and virus-wary, individuals who decided to ditch gym memberships for the convenience and safety of at-home workouts.
Policyholders should be reviewing their coverage programs now to identify what claims they will want to submit before major claim-filing deadlines hit in August and December this year.
The earliest COVID-19 insurance court rulings across the country were decided under a preliminary “motion to dismiss” standard – meaning, the courts were deciding whether the insured had a plausible claim for relief against the insurer if the insured’s allegations could be proven true, not that the insured was, in fact, entitled to coverage.
Wildfires blazed through millions of acres along the West Coast this year, reportedly killing dozens of people, destroying thousands of structures and causing billions of dollars in insured losses.
The Midwest is experiencing record-breaking flooding this year, bringing back memories of the devastating and costly floods of 1993. Without a doubt, business losses and business interruption claims will be substantial. This post explores when an insured might have coverage for business interruption even if it does not incur significant flood-damage to its own property. As with any coverage claim, the merits will depend on the specific language in the policy and the specific circumstances of the claimed loss. But, here’s a rundown of some common policy provisions and issues to keep in mind.
The CDC estimates that 1 in 6 Americans get sick from contaminated foods or beverage each year, and that 3,000 people die, resulting in total food-borne illness costs of more than $15.6 billion dollars each year. Those numbers are not surprising when food recalls seem to be an almost weekly occurrence, with salmonella-tainted foods prominently featured in multiple large-scale outbreaks in 2018. Although food contamination seems to be on the rise, experts suggest that frequency is up – not due to an actual increase in outbreaks – but, instead because we are better equipped to ...
From the “Bomb Cyclone” winter storm that roared across the East Coast; to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Jose that exacted an enormous human, financial and business toll; to the California wildfires that killed 43 people, consumed 10,000 structures and devastated numerous wineries - it seems that we cannot escape news these days of disasters that have a deep and wide-ranging impact on lives, property, and commercial activity. We begin the New Year with a hope that we will see fewer, less severe disasters but also with the question in mind: “What can I do today to be prepared for a disaster that could affect my business?” Of course, a critical component of preparing for disasters is taking the necessary precautions to avoid or limit losses in the first place. But some losses may be unavoidable, so companies should also prepare ahead of time to maximize their recovery of insurance for the losses that do arise. Some steps to take that will help:
- Take the time to assess the types of catastrophic events to which your company might be vulnerable. Speak to those responsible for day-to-day operations and ask which type of losses or disruptions would be most costly not only to the immediate bottom line, but also in terms of intermediate or long-term displacement of the company’s competitive advantage or its reputation. Think outside of the box and do not constrain your assessment to the types of disasters that come easily to mind. It is those that we did not see coming, or the severity of which we underestimated, that we are least prepared for.
About this Blog
Lathrop GPM is one of the largest law firms in the United States representing policyholders, providing policyholders with the necessary guidance and legal counsel to handle everything from negotiating coverage and managing risk to litigating insurance disputes and recovery. The Road to Insurance Recovery blog is dedicated to helping readers better understand and manage the complexities of the modern business insurance policy.