wrongful denial of coverage

Under typical Commercial General Liability policies, which are triggered by an “occurrence” during the policy period, an insured can safely wait until being served with a complaint to notify the insurer about the litigation. But policies written on a “claims made” basis, such as many Errors and Omissions policies or Employment Practices Liability policies, raise the specter of forfeiting any coverage at all for not notifying the insurer of a “claim” long before the insured knew that it would have to lawyer up and defend against a lawsuit.

Scottsdale Indemnity Co. v. Convercent, Inc., a recent decision from the federal court in Colorado, demonstrates this risk and the hole that an insured can inadvertently dig for itself. Continue Reading Traps await the unwary in claims-made insurance policies

A recent opinion from the Arizona Court of Appeals demonstrates the importance of being aware of varying states’ insurance laws. In Callies v. United Heritage Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. (Mar. 18, 2014), the insureds, a husband and wife who lived in Oregon, were in the middle of a move to Arizona when their moving van and all of its contents were stolen. Their homeowner’s policy covered theft of personal property “while it was anywhere in the world.” At first, the insurer accepted coverage, leading the insureds to believe that only the valuation of their belongings stood between them and recovering for their loss.  Continue Reading Choice-of-Law Analysis Makes All the Difference in “First Party” Bad-Faith Case