Archives: D & O Insurance

Subscribe to D & O Insurance RSS Feed

D&O Insurance: Securing Coverage for Books and Records Requests

The right of shareholders to demand inspection of companies’ books and records is of course nothing new. What is new is the increased frequency of books and records demands, often as a result of courts’ requirement for prospective shareholder claimants to investigate alleged misconduct of corporate executives before filing a lawsuit. The scope of the … Continue Reading

Professional Services Exclusion Precludes Coverage for All Insureds, Not Just Those Performing Services

If a D&O insurance policy exclusion precludes coverage for loss arising out of the performance of professional services, does the exclusion preclude coverage for all insureds or just the insureds who performed the services? In a July 5, 2017 opinion (here), the Eleventh Circuit, applying Florida law in a case related to the Rothstein law … Continue Reading

Guest Post: The D&O Cramdown: Triggering Side A DIC Coverage When an Underlying D&O Carrier Declines Coverage

In the following guest post, Peter Gillon and Eric Gold of the Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman law firm take a look at one of important drop down features of Side A DIC insurance coverage, the coverage that is triggered when an underlying carrier denies coverage. I would like to thank Peter and Eric for their … Continue Reading

Though Fraudulent Transfers Took Place During the Policy Period, Past Acts Exclusion Still Precludes Coverage

A prior acts exclusion in a bank holding company’s D&O insurance policy precludes coverage for claims based on allegedly fraudulent transfers made to a banking subsidiary during the policy period, because the transfers arose out of wrongful acts that occurred prior to the policy’s past acts date, according to a recent decision by the Eleventh … Continue Reading

Eighth Circuit: Notice Provided During the Policy Period But After Seven Month Delay Not “As Soon as Practicable”

If an insured give notice of claim to its insurer during the policy period but seven months after a lawsuit is filed, has it provided notice “as soon as practicable” as required under the policy? Not according to a May 25, 2017 decision by the Eighth Circuit. The appellate court, applying Minnesota law, affirmed the … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance is Important for Private Companies, Too

Executives at companies whose securities are publicly traded typically don’t need to be persuaded that their company needs D&O insurance. They understand that the exposures public companies face make D&O insurance indispensable. However, the view of some private company managers may be different, particularly for officials at companies whose shares are very closely held. These … Continue Reading

Important D&O Insurance Program Structure Concerns

Most D&O insurance buyers understand the critical importance of limits selection – that is, deciding how much insurance to buy. But an equally important question involves the issue of program structure – that is, how the insurance program is put together. Many insurance buyers understand that, in order to be able to purchase an insurance … Continue Reading

In Long-Running Bear Stearns Dispute, N.Y. Court Rejects Insurers’ Remaining Coverage Defenses

In what seems like the culminating trial court clash in the long-running effort of J.P. Morgan, as successor in interest to Bear Stearns, to try to obtain insurance coverage for amounts Bear Stearns paid to settle charges that it had facilitated market timing and late trading, New York (New York County) Supreme Court Judge Charles … Continue Reading

Policyholder Group Supports Appeal Involving Professional Services Exclusion

Regular readers know that one of my hobby-horse issues is what I perceive as insurers’ overbroad application of the professional services exclusion typically found in private company D&O insurance policies, particularly with respect to policyholders in services businesses. Because of this long-standing concern, I was interested to see that a policyholders’ rights group has filed … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: When Is a Claim a “Securities Claim”?

Public company D&O insurance policies typically provide coverage for the corporate entity only for “Securities Claims.” A recent case in the Delaware Superior Court involved the question of whether a bankruptcy trustee’s claim related to Verizon’s multi-billion dollar spinoff of its electronic directories business was a “Securities Claim.” In an interesting and detailed opinion dated … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Prior and Pending Litigation Exclusion Doesn’t Preclude Coverage, Late Notice Does

A recent summary judgment ruling in a D&O insurance coverage lawsuit in the District of Connecticut addressed several potentially preclusive coverage issues. In her February 28, 2017 opinion (here), Judge Vanessa Bryant, applying Connecticut law, ultimately held that coverage for the underlying claim was precluded due to the insured’s late provision of notice of claim, … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Convictions, Appeals, and the Conduct Exclusion

Most D&O insurance policies have conduct exclusions precluding coverage for fraudulent, criminal, or willful misconduct. However, mere allegations are insufficient to trigger this exclusion. If allegations alone were enough, then many claims that would otherwise be covered under the policy would be precluded from coverage, because many D&O claims involve allegations of fraudulent, criminal, or … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Rejects Hospital’s Argument that Defense Expense Does Not Erode the Limits of Liability

Most management liability insurance policies are written on a defense-costs-inside-the-limits basis, meaning that covered defense costs erode the limits of liability as the expenses are incurred. Though this is a well-established arrangement within the industry for this type of insurance, the erosion of limits by defense expenses sometimes comes as an unwelcome surprise to a … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Over Two-Year Notice Delay Does Not Bar Coverage Where Delay Did not Cause Prejudice

As anyone involved in the liability insurance claims knows, late notice of claim is a recurring problem. When policyholders’ notice of claim is late, liability insurers will often contend that the late notice precludes coverage. However, many jurisdictions have a so-called “notice prejudice” rule, specifying that insurers can deny coverage for late notice only if … Continue Reading

Insured vs. Insured Exclusion: No Coverage When Claim Includes Both Non-Insured and Insured Claimants

As I readers of this blog well know, a frequently recurring D&O insurance question is whether or not the policy’s insured vs. insured exclusion operates to preclude coverage. One of the many issues that can arise under the exclusion is whether or not the exclusion precludes coverage if the underlying claim is brought both by … Continue Reading

Eighth Circuit: Insured vs. Insured Exclusion Precludes Coverage for Claims Brought by Both Insured and Non-Insured Persons

You know that the Insured vs. Insured Exclusion is a frequent source of D&O insurance coverage disputes when on consecutive days two federal appellate courts issue opinions interpreting and applying the provision. As I noted yesterday, on January 10, 2017, it was the Ninth Circuit’s turn; the next day, it was the Eighth Circuit’s turn. … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit: Insured vs. Insured Exclusion Unambiguously Excludes FDIC’s Failed Bank Claims

During the bank failure wave that followed the global financial crisis, one of the recurring questions was whether or not the failed banks’ D&O insurance policies’ insured vs. insured exclusion precluded coverage for the FDIC’s liability claims as receiver for the failed bank against the banks’ former directors and officers . As I noted in … Continue Reading

D&O Insurance: Despite Trial Court “Fraud” Determination, Fraud Exclusion Not Triggered

In an August 27, 2015 post-trial opinion (discussed here), Delaware Vice-Chancellor Travis Laster found that Dole Foods CEO David Murdock, and the company’s General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer, C. Michael Carter, had committed “fraud” in connection with a November 2013 “going private” transaction. However, according to a December 21, 2016 Delaware Superior Court decision … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Holds Applicability of Insured vs. Insured Exclusion to FDIC-R Claims to be Ambiguous

During the course of the wave of failed bank litigation following in the wake of the global financial crisis has been a raft of related coverage litigation addressing the question of whether coverage for claims by the FDIC as receiver of the failed bank against the bank’s former directors and officers is precluded by the … Continue Reading

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
LexBlog