californiaDuring the insurance placement process, important policy terms and conditions are often the subject of negotiation. If things go as intended, the policy that is later issued accurately reflects the outcome of the negotiations. A frequently recurring question is what to do if it is later contended that the policy as issued does not accurately reflect what was negotiated.

These issues were involved in a recent insurance coverage dispute in California between a law firm and its professional liability insurer. When the law firm had renewed its insurance, it had increased the limits of liability available under its professional liability insurance policy from $2 million to $4 million. In arguing that only $2 million of coverage was applicable to a subsequent claim, the insurer sought to rely on a manuscript policy endorsement the insurer argued set policy inception as the past acts date for the $2 million excess of $2 million of limits. In a May 11, 2017 order (here) holding that the full $4 million limit of liability was available for the underlying claim, Central District of California Judge Josephine Staton, called the endorsement on which the insurer sought to rely “indecipherable,” adding that the insurer “must accept the consequences of its slapdash drafting.”
Continue Reading What Happens When the Policy Doesn’t Say What was Intended?

Odonnell, Stephen - Chicago - 300 DPI
Stephen O’Donnell

Cyber liability insurance is a relatively new product and many of the terms and conditions found in cyber-liability policies are as yet untested in the courts. In this guest post, Stephen O’Donnell of the Steptoe & Johnson law firm takes a look at two particular standard features of the cyber liability insurance policies, the retroactive date and policy inception date exclusions, and the potential for these exclusions to preclude coverage for the very kind of exposures that are the reasons most purchasers buy the insurance.

I would like to thank Stephen for his willingness to publish his 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 Stephen’s guest post.

Continue Reading Guest Post: Cyber-Liability Insurance and the Retroactive Date Exclusion