Archives: D & O Insurance

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D&O Insurance: Is a Software Audit Demand a “Claim”?

A standard D&O insurance policy provision specifies that the term “Claim” means, in part, a “written demand for monetary damages or non-monetary relief.” A recurring question that arises under this language is: what exactly is “non-monetary relief”?  In a recent case, an Ohio intermediate appellate court considered the question whether a demand for a software … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Thinking About Two Relatively Uncommon Exclusions

A couple of items crossed my desk last week that made me think about two exclusions that are sometimes found in D&O insurance policies. In each case, the exclusions, while relatively uncommon, could substantially restrict the insurance coverage available at least in certain circumstances. Precisely because these exclusions are relatively uncommon, it is important to understand the … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: What is a Claim and When Does Late Notice Defeat Coverage?

Among the key parts of a claims-made insurance policy are its definition of the term “claim” and its provisions specifying the policyholder’s notice of claim obligations. A recent Delaware Superior Court decision by Judge Eric Davis examined both of these basic policy features and considered what is required in order to meet the policy’s claim … Continue Reading

Thinking About Exceptions and Alterations to the Insured vs. Insured Exclusion

Among the terms and conditions typically found in a D&O insurance policy is the so-called “Insured vs. Insured” exclusion, which precludes coverage for claims brought by one insured against another insured. The exclusion often figures in D&O insurance coverage disputes, as I have frequently noted on this blog. While the exclusion broadly precludes coverage for … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Consent Judgment Including Covenant Not to Execute Constitutes “Loss”

In order to try to resolve litigation pending against them, policyholders sometimes enter a settlement in which they agree to the entry of a consent judgment against them and to the assignment to the claimants of their rights under their insurance policy, subject to the claimants’ agreement not to execute the judgment against them. The … Continue Reading

No D&O Insurance Coverage for Costs of Responding to Informal SEC Investigation

Among the most frequently recurring D&O insurance coverage issues is the question of the carrier’s obligation to pay for costs incurred in connection with an informal SEC investigation. Indeed over the years, numerous policy revisions have been adopted in various forms by various carriers to address certain aspects of this issue. Yet the issues continue to arise, … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: More About the Professional Services Exclusion Problem

Regular readers know that one of my recurring  private company D&O insurance coverage concerns has to do with the professional services exclusion and the way many carriers seek to phrase, interpret, and apply the exclusion, particularly with respect to insured companies engaged in service businesses. My concern is that all too often the exclusion is … Continue Reading

Insurer’s Coverage Denial Relieves Policyholder’s Obligation to Obtain Consent to Settlement

In the latest development in the long-running battle of J.P. Morgan Chase, as successor in interest to Bear Stearns, to try to obtain insurance coverage for amounts Bear Stearns paid to resolve an SEC investigation of alleged deceptive market timing and late trading activities, a New York state court judge has held that because its … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Prior and Pending Litigation Provisions Do Not Undercut Interrelated Claims Provision

In a June 6, 2016 opinion (here), Middle District of Florida Judge Sheri Polster Chappell, applying Florida law, held that subsequent claims filed in 2011 and 2012 were interrelated with claims first made in 2008, and therefore deemed made at the time of the initial claim. Because the initial claim was filed before the relevant … Continue Reading

Trustee’s Professional Liability Insurance: No Coverage for Claims Against Trustee Acting as Director of Separate Corporation

As I have noted in prior posts (most recently here), a recurring D&O insurance coverage issue is the question of whether or not an insured person was acting in an insured capacity at the time he or she allegedly committed the wrongful acts alleged against him or her. These questions arise because individuals often act … Continue Reading

The Need for Law Firms to Advise Their Clients About Potentially Available Insurance

A recurring theme on this blog is the problem that the late provision of notice creates for policyholders. Insurers frequently will seek to deny coverage when the policyholder does not provide timely notice of claim. As anyone with day-to-day claims involvement knows, there are a lot of reasons why policyholders fail to provide timely notice … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Thinking About the Insured vs. Insured Exclusion

Though the Insured vs. Insured exclusion is a standard D&O policy provision, it seems to generate a disproportionate number of D&O insurance-related coverage disputes. The exclusion precludes coverage for claims brought by one Insured Person against another Insured Person. Among the host of recurring issues are the questions surrounding the exclusion’s preclusive reach when the … Continue Reading

Two Things D&O Insurers Regularly Get Wrong

Readers familiar with my background know that while I have spent the last ten years representing policyholders, I spent the first 25 years or so of my career on the insurer side of the aisle, first as a lawyer representing insurers and later as an insurer employee. Because of that long prior experience, I am … Continue Reading

Private Company Management Liability Insurance Tune-Up Tips

The private company management liability insurance environment is constantly changing. The liability environment is constantly evolving. Because of the changes in liabilities and exposures and because of the competitive nature of the insurance marketplace, the available terms and conditions are constantly changing as well. Unfortunately, all too often, some private companies simply renew their management … Continue Reading

Despite Swiss Forum Selection Clause, U.S. Court Orders FIFA’s Insurers to Advance Insured’s Defense Expense

One of the key current concerns in the global D&O insurance marketplace involves questions of cross-border implementation of insurance policy responsibilities and requirements. This concern is usually presented as a problem for policyholders, as they must determine how their insurance might respond to claims arising outside their home jurisdictions. However, a recent decision in the … Continue Reading

Guest Post: Please Buckle Your Seatbelts and Check Your D&O Insurance: A Gloomy Forecast Is Ahead

Complicated coverage issues frequently arise in connection with D&O claims, and that is particularly true with respect to claims arising in bankruptcy. In the following guest post, Paul Ferrillo and Ronit Berkovich of the Weil, Gotshal & Manges law firm take a look at the key D&O insurance considerations that companies heading into bankruptcy should … Continue Reading

O.K., The Notice Prejudice Rule Applies, But What Constitutes “Prejudice”?

One of the recurring battles in the continuing wars about whether or not a policyholder’s late provision of notice of claim precludes coverage is the question whether or not the “notice prejudice” rule applies. The notice prejudice rule specifies that the insurer can assert late notice as a coverage defense only if the delayed notice … Continue Reading

Insured vs. Insured Exclusion Bars Coverage for Liquidation Trust’s Claim Against Bankrupt Firm’s Execs

Many issues become complicated in the bankruptcy context. That is certainly true of D&O insurance coverage issues. A recent coverage decision out of the Western District of Michigan illustrates this point. In a March 31, 2016 opinion (here), Judge Janet Neff, applying Michigan law, held that the relevant D&O insurance policies’ Insured vs. Insured exclusion … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Regulator’s Previous Threat to File Action Triggers Prior Litigation Exclusion

Many D&O insurance policies contain specific prior litigation exclusions precluding coverage for claims made during the policy year related to proceedings commenced prior to the policy inception. A question that can arise is the issue of what type of prior proceedings or actions triggers this exclusion. The Second Circuit recently considered whether a Maryland attorney … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Regulatory Exclusion Listed on Binder but Omitted From Policy Does Not Bar FDIC Claim Coverage

Suppose a troubled bank went to renew its D&O insurance in the throes of the financial crisis. Suppose further that the bank’s D&O insurer refused to renew its primary policy without a regulatory exclusion. Suppose that the primary insurer’s renewal binder specified that the renewal was subject to a regulatory exclusion. However, suppose further that … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Late Notice and Excess Coverage

Everyone involved with D&O insurance knows that it is important to keep up with case law developments, in order to appreciate how courts are interpreting and applying various policy terms and conditions. But sometimes there is an additional reason why it is a good to keep up with court decisions – sometimes the cases provide … Continue Reading

Guest Post: D&O What to Know: A Guide to the Evolution of Directors and Officers Insurance from 1933 to the Present

After attending the PLUS D&O Symposium  some years ago, several colleagues at Partner Re thought it might be worthwhile to provide D&O insurance professionals with historical overview of the evolution of Directors and Officers insurance (D&O) in the US marketplace.   As a result, Brian Sabia, SVP Senior Underwriter Specialty lines; Catherine Rudow, SVP Senior Underwriter … Continue Reading