John F. McCarrick

As I have noted in prior posts, among the many implications from the current coronavirus outbreak is the possibility that the pandemic might result in D&O claims. This possibility in turn has a number of D&O insurance underwriting implications. In the following guest post, John F. McCarrick, a partner in the White & Williams law firm, takes a look at these possible underwriting implications. A version of this article previously was published as a White & Williams client alert. I would like to thank John for allowing me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers.
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On March 10, 2020, as part of a Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) series of recorded discussions on the possible professional liability insurance implications of the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, I participated in a short conversation on the viral outbreak’s D&O insurance implications. Joining me for the conversation were my good friends Carl Metzger of the

A deceased small business owner’s widow sued the business’s two other co-owners for breach of fiduciary duty for failing to apply a life insurance payout to the company to buy out her deceased husband’s shares. The two co-owners submitted the claim to their company’s management liability insurer, which denied coverage for the claim, relying in part on the policy’s contractual liability exclusion. The two co-owners sued the insurer seeking coverage. The district court granted summary judgment for the insurer. On February 19, 2020, the Eighth Circuit, applying Kansas law, affirmed the district court in an opinion that, as discussed below, raises some interesting issues. The Eighth Circuit’s opinion can be found here.
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Gregg Glick
Erin Ringbloom

As regular readers know, I have written frequently in the past about late notice issues. In the following guest post, Gregg Glick, Senior Vice President, Private Company/Not-For-Profit Practice Lead at Allied World, and Erin M. Ringbloom, Esq. Vice President, North American Claims Group at Allied World, provide an insurer perspective, both from an underwriter and claims advisor point of view, on the issue of late notice. I would like to thank Gregg and Erin for allowing me to publish their article on my site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Gregg and Erin’s article.
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Jeff Hirsch

As I have noted in prior posts, and as a result of a number of factors, the current marketplace for D&O insurance marketplace is disrupted, with many buyers experiencing significant price increases. In the following guest post, Jeff Hirsch, Head of Product at Scale Underwriting, takes a detailed look at current D&O insurance pricing trends. A version of this article previously was published on the Foundershield blog. I would like to thank Jeff and Foundershield for allowing me to publish this article. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Jeff’s article.
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In the following guest post, Paul Ferrillo, a partner in the McDermott, Will & Emery law firm, takes a look at Excess Side A insurance and discusses its importance as part of a well-structured D&O insurance program. I would like to thank Paul for his willingness to allow me to publish his article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Paul’s article.
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Before the ice age, before the flood, before some of the people reading this were even born, the big D&O insurance coverage issue was allocation – that is, the division of loss between covered and non-covered claims or between covered and non-covered parties. After a flurry of judicial decisions in the mid-‘90s, after the addition of entity coverage to the standard D&O insurance policy (also in the mid-‘90s), and after policy allocation language became more or less standardized, litigated allocation disputes became much less frequent. Indeed, the last time I had occasion to write about an allocation coverage decision on this blog was in 2007. (Although, to be sure, allocation is still very much an issue in many D&O insurance claims.) It was with some surprise and interest that I read a recent Delaware Superior Court decision in the long-running Dole Foods insurance coverage dispute dealing with the question of allocating the underlying settlements between covered and non-covered amounts. The decision itself contains some surprises, as discussed below.
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Regular readers know that among the recurring themes on this site are concerns about problems with the application of notice rules to preclude insurance for claims that would otherwise be covered under the policy. These problems are, in my view, particularly abrupt where a claims is made during one policy period and the notice is provided during the policy period of a subsequent renewal policy issued by the same insurer. I have argued that continuity of coverage between the two policies and with the same insurer ought to be taken into consideration and that coverage should be denied only if the insurer can show that the late notice of claim during the renewal period prejudiced the insurer’s interests. In a recent appeal, the Ninth Circuit rejected this continuity of coverage argument. The appellate court’s opinion, though brief, raises a number of interesting points, as discussed below.
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Francis Kean

Earlier this month I published a guest post in which John McCarrick and Paul Schiavone suggested various policy terms and conditions they proposed should be revisited as D&O insurers seek profitability. My comments on their proposals appeared as an appendix to John and Paul’s article. John and Paul’s article has provoked a series of responses. Last week, I published a second guest post in which Paul Ferrillo provided his thoughts in response to John and Paul’s article. And in yet another guest post, Gil Isidro provided his comments as well. Now, as set out below, Francis Kean adds his voice to the dialog. Francis is Executive Director FINEX Willis Towers Watson. I would like to thank Francis for allowing me to publish his comments. Here is Francis’s article.
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