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.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Side A Excess D&O Insurance: Why Directors Need a Lot of It — Now!

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.
Continue Reading Delaware Court Rules “Larger Settlement Rule” Governs D&O Insurance Allocation

If you have not yet seen it, you will want to be sure to read the January 29, 2020 Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance post entitled “Challenging Times: The Hardening D&O Insurance Market” by Carl Metzger and Brian Mukherjee of the Godwin Proctor law firm (here).
Continue Reading The Current D&O Insurance Market Turmoil: Causes, Effects, and What to Do

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.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Rejects Continuity of Coverage as Response to Late Notice of Claim

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.
Continue Reading Guest Post: D&O Insurance: A Crisis of Complexity

Gil Isidro

As many readers will recall, earlier this month I published a guest post in which John McCarrick and Paul Schiavone provided a list of policy terms and conditions they suggested should be revisited as D&O insurers seek to reposition themselves toward profitability. I included my own comments to John and Paul’s article as an appendix to their guest post. Last week, I published a second guest post in which Paul Ferrillo provided his thoughts in response to John and Paul’s article. In the following guest post, Gil Isidro  adds his comments to the dialog. Gil Isidro is Lead Coverage Counsel with Woodruff Sawyer.  Before joining Woodruff last summer, Gil was an attorney with AIG Financial Lines for 14 years, the last few of which were spent overseeing legal support of its management liability division. I would like to thank Gil 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. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is Gil’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: You Say You Want a Revolution? Well, You Know… No

Under claims made insurance policies, policyholders must provide timely notice of claim to their insurers in order to trigger coverage. Late notice is among the most common reasons that insurers deny coverage for claims. In order to try to avoid a coverage denial for late notice, policyholders have tried to argue that late notice should not preclude coverage where the policyholder renewed the coverage and where successive policies with the same insurer are in place. In a recent decision, an Ohio appellate court, applying Ohio law, rejected a policyholder’s attempt to rely on this kind of continuity of coverage argument. The court’s decision raises some interesting issues, as discussed below.
Continue Reading Ohio Court Rejects Continuity of Coverage as Counter to Late Notice

Paul Ferrillo

In a recent guest post, industry veterans John McCarrick and Paul Schiavone outlined some policy terms and conditions they suggested D&O insurers may want to address as the insurers try to re-orient toward profitability. In the following guest post, Paul Ferrillo provides his response to John and Paul’s article. Paul is a shareholder in the Greenberg Traurig law firm’s Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Crisis Management Practice. I would like to thank Paul for allowing me to publish his guest post as an article 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.


Continue Reading Guest Post: Scope of Coverage is Fine – Rate and Claim-Paying are the Keys

John McCarrick
Paul Schiavone

In the following guest post, John McCarrick and Paul Schiavone propose that as D&O insurers seek to return to profitability by raising prices, the insurers should also revisit many of the coverage extensions that have become standard in recent years. The authors present a “wish list” of specific items they suggest insurers might want to consider; the list itself is the result of the authors’ “anonymous survey” of insurer-side professionals. My commentary on the authors’ proposals follows below. John is a partner in the law firm White and Williams LLP and leads the Firm’s Financial Lines Practice Group.  Paul is a Senior Vice President at Allianz, and is the Global Head of Alternative Risk Transfer and North American Head of Corporate Long Tail Lines.  I would like to thank John and Paul for allowing me to publish their article 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 John and Paul’s article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Is it Time to Revisit the Scope of D&O Coverage?

Most public company D&O insurance policies provide coverage for the corporate entity only for “Securities Claims.” But what constitutes a “Securities Claim”? That is the question the Delaware Supreme Court addressed in a recent appeal of an insurance coverage dispute in which a bankruptcy trustee had sued Verizon for breach of fiduciary duty, unlawful payment of a dividend, and violation of the uniform fraudulent transfer act. The trial court had entered summary judgment for Verizon, ruling that the bankruptcy trustee’s claims represented “Securities Claims” within the meaning of the policy. In an October 31, 2019 decision (here), the Delaware Supreme Court reversed the lower court, ruling that the bankruptcy trustee’s claims were not Securities Claims within the meaning of the policy. As discussed below, the decision raises some interesting issues.
Continue Reading Delaware Supreme Court: What is a “Securities Claim”?