insured vs. Insured exclusion

Andrew Solyntjes
Andrew Lipton

In the current economic turmoil, bankruptcy is a big concern. In the following guest post, Andrew Solyntjes, Markel Bermuda Limited, and Andrew G. Lipton, of the White & Williams law firm, take review some of the key bankruptcy-related D&O insurance issues. A version of this article previously was published as a White & Williams client alert. I would like to thank the authors for allowing me to publish their 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. Here is the authors’ article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Bankruptcy and D&O Insurance: Top Tips and Reminders

Among the looming economic consequences of the pandemic is the likelihood of a huge surge in bankruptcy filings. A rise in bankruptcies will in turn likely lead to an increase in the number of bankruptcy-related litigation claims against directors and officers of the bankrupt companies, which in turn could lead to insurance coverage issues under the companies’ D&O insurance policies. In the following guest post, Alicia Garcia and Kate Hausmann, Complex Claim Specialists with Hiscox USA, and James Talbert and Elan Kandel of the Bailey Cavalieri law firm take a look at the issues that could arise in the bankruptcy context with respect to the policies’ Insured vs. Insured Exclusion. I would like to thank the authors for allowing me to publish their 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 the authors’ article.
Continue Reading Guest Post: The Impending Bankruptcy Surge and Insured vs. Insured Exclusion Considerations

As I noted in yesterday’s post, there could be a significant number of bankruptcies in coming months, and D&O claims in the bankruptcy context could give rise to insurance coverage disputes. In addition to the possible coverage issues I noted in yesterday’s post (pertaining bankruptcy exclusions, in particular), another issue that could arise is whether or not coverage for claims brought on behalf of the bankrupt debtor’s estate or on behalf of unsecured creditors is precluded by the insured vs. insured exclusion found in most policies.

Most insured vs. insured exclusions include a carve-back preserving coverage for claims brought by trustees and other estate representatives. In a recent ruling that broadly considered the scope and purpose of the insured vs. insured exclusion’s bankruptcy claim coverage carve-back, a New York intermediate appellate court concluded that the carve-back applied to preserve coverage for a claim brought by a Creditor Trust formed to pursue post-confirmation legal actions on behalf of unsecured creditors. The May 14, 2020 opinion in Westchester Fire Insurance Company v. Schorsch can be found here.
Continue Reading The Insured vs. Insured Exclusion’s Bankruptcy Claim Coverage Carve-Back

The insured vs. insured exclusion is a standard exclusion in most management liability insurance policies. The exclusion precludes coverage for claims brought by one insured against another. The IvI exclusions in most management liability insurance policies typically include a number of exceptions to the exclusion preserving coverage for claims that otherwise would be excluded. In a recent decision, a Texas intermediate appellate court found that the IvI exclusion in an investment management firm’s policy did not preclude coverage for an arbitration award because the underlying dispute arose out of an employment practices claim and therefore the dispute – including even the derivative claims the claimant asserted in the arbitration – came within the exclusion’s coverage carve-back for wrongful employment practices claims. As discussed below, the court’s opinion has a number of interesting features.
Continue Reading IvI Exclusion’s Carve-Back Preserves Coverage for Entire Claim

In the following guest post, Jennifer Bergstrom, Esq., Senior Claim Counsel, Hiscox USA, Elan Kandel, Esq. and Jennifer Lewis, Esq. of Bailey Cavalieri take a look at the key D&O insurance coverage decisions of 2017. I would like to thank the authors for allowing me to publish their article. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this site’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ guest post.
Continue Reading Guest Post: The Year in Review: 2017 Key D&O Insurance Coverage Decisions

sixth circuit1The Insured vs. Insured exclusion is a standard provision found in most D&O insurance policies. As its name implies, the exclusion precludes coverage for claims brought by one insured against another insured. The exclusion is a frequent source of coverage disputes, particularly in the bankruptcy context,  due to frequent disagreements over the exclusion’s application to claims brought against company management by representatives of the creditors or of the bankrupt estate. One recurring dispute of this type is the question of the exclusion’s applicability to claims brought against company management by the company as debtor-in-possession. A recent appellate question considered a variation of this question – that is, whether the exclusion precluded coverage for claims brought against company management by the trustee of a liquidation trust as an assignee of the company as debtor in possession. In a June 20, 2017 opinion (here), the Sixth Circuit (applying Michigan law) held that the exclusion precluded coverage for the liquidation trustee’s claim. The appellate ruling raises some interesting issues, discussed below.
Continue Reading Insured vs. Insured Exclusion Precludes Coverage for Claim Assigned by Debtor in Possession to Liquidation Trustee

FloridaAs 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 claimants that are insured persons under the policy and persons that are not insured persons. In a January 30, 2017 decision applying Florida law (here), Southern District of Florida Judge Beth Bloom ruled that a condominium association’s D&O insurance policy’s insured vs. insured exclusion barred coverage for the a claim brought by two claimants, one of whom was insured under the policy and one of whom was not.
Continue Reading Insured vs. Insured Exclusion: No Coverage When Claim Includes Both Non-Insured and Insured Claimants

eighth circuitYou 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. On January 11, 2017, the Eighth Circuit affirmed a district court’s holding that the Insured vs. Insured exclusion in a grocery store chain’s D&O insurance policy precluded coverage for claims brought by the chain’s founder’s daughter, who had served briefly as a director of the company. The appellate court also affirmed the district court’s holding that the exclusion precluded coverage not just for the daughter’s claims, but also for the claims of her two children, who were shareholders but not directors of the company. The court, applying Minnesota law, held that the exclusion precluded coverage for both the claims of the daughter (who was an insured person) and those of the children (who were not). The Eighth Circuit’s opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading Eighth Circuit: Insured vs. Insured Exclusion Precludes Coverage for Claims Brought by Both Insured and Non-Insured Persons

Ninth CircuitDuring 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 a post late last year, the general consensus among the federal appellate courts is that the exclusion’s applicability to FDIC-R claims is ambiguous and therefore that the exclusion does not preclude coverage. As I also noted, however, there was an exception to this consensus, reflecting important wording differences sometimes found in the exclusion.

Consistent with this exception to the consensus, on January 10, 2017, the Ninth Circuit, applying California law, held in an unpublished opinion that the applicable D&O policy’s insured vs. insured exclusion was not ambiguous and precluded coverage for the FDIC’s claims against the former directors and officers of the failed Security Pacific bank. Unlike the exclusion found in many D&O insurance policies, the policy at issue in the Ninth Circuit’s case specifically precluded coverage for claims brought by any “successor” or “receiver.”  The Ninth Circuit’s opinion can be found here.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit: Insured vs. Insured Exclusion Unambiguously Excludes FDIC’s Failed Bank Claims

Ninth CircuitDuring 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 D&O insurance policy’s Insured vs. Insured exclusion. A number of courts have found the exclusion to be ambiguous and therefore that the exclusion does not preclude coverage for the FDIC-R’s claims (for example, refer here), while other courts have found the specific exclusions at issue to unambiguously preclude coverage (refer for example here). In the most recent court decision to address these issues, the Ninth Circuit, in a short unpublished October 19, 2016 per curiam opinion (here) affirmed the holding of the district court finding the Insured vs. Insured exclusion applicability to claims brought by the FDIC as receiver is ambiguous, and therefore the exclusion cannot be applied to preclude coverage for the FDIC’s claims against the former directors and officers of the failed Pacific Coast National Bank.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Holds Applicability of Insured vs. Insured Exclusion to FDIC-R Claims to be Ambiguous