In the wake of the recent release of another investigating grand jury report regarding abuse of minors by clerics, Pennsylvania state lawmakers have introduced a proposal to revive previously time-barred civil claims arising out of allegations of childhood sexual abuse. If passed, the new law would open a two-year “window” during which victims could file such claims without … [Read more...] about Allegations of Clergy Misconduct
Some thoughts Most readers are familiar, at least to some extent, with the jury’s verdict earlier this year in Lanzo v. Johnson & Johnson. In that case, a New Jersey state court jury awarded $117 million in compensatory and punitive damages against J&J and Imerys after concluding that asbestos-contaminated talc, supplied by Imerys and used to make Johnson’s Baby … [Read more...] about Avoiding the Next Lanzo: Some Thoughts
A good few eyes are focused on the daily, if not hourly, developing news on the UK’s departure from the European Union. What does it mean for the London Market and in turn for those who deal with its many participants both in the EU and throughout the rest of the world? The run-up to Brexit might have resonances of Y2K and the millennium bug but it is distinctly different. Y2K … [Read more...] about Brexit: Whats going on?
Recently, while on a family vacation, I drove past the Yellowstone Imerys talc-mining operations in Montana near Yellowstone National Park. The operation is set against a beautiful backdrop in one of the most naturally stunning areas of the country. The tranquil setting stands in stark contrast to the company’s current turmoil as a defendant in one of the highest profile mass … [Read more...] about Lanzo v. Johnson & Johnson, et al. Is this the Beginning or the End?
New legislation is loosening the tight regulatory knot that’s been wrapped around legacy insurance business in the U.S. Upcoming game-changers include: Key amendments to the Rhode Island Voluntary Restructuring Statute (the ‘Rhode Island Statute’), which, among other amendments (House Bill 8163), would allow (re)insurers to transfer eligible portfolios without requiring … [Read more...] about Legacy Watershed: Capitalizing on the New Legislative Options for Runoff
In almost 40 years of dealing with CERCLA liability claims, we have learned a thing or two. In November of last year, A.M. Best opined that environmental exposures were “97% funded” at $41 billion in reserves. This is good news compared to 2003, when A.M. Best viewed environmental losses as underfunded by 45% based on a projected ultimate loss of $56 billion. But then, as now, … [Read more...] about Cue the Mediator: Hiring a Mediator to Save Costs in Superfund Cases
Touted as the most significant federal tax legislation since 1986, Public Law 115-97 – informally known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (the “TCJA”) – was enacted on December 22, 2017. This article examines the potential impact of several provisions of the TCJA on the insurance industry. The changes in the TCJA to domestic corporate tax provisions, including the corporate tax … [Read more...] about The Impact of the Tax Reform Act on the Insurance Industry
In the previous three articles, we took a journey that would be a dream if it were a holiday itinerary: Europe and its uniform legal and regulatory framework for portfolio transfers; then Europe met the U.S., which with small but steady steps is trying to develop its own system for legal finality and insurance business transfers; and finally, we focused on Rhode Island, … [Read more...] about Anticipation. Excitement. Commitment. Patience. That Order.
Joanne McGovern (Claims Regional Vice-President for ProSight Specialty Insurance), joined Laura Besvinick and Julie Nevins (both of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan) to discuss the dynamics of claims handling in Florida, the hallmarks of good faith claims-handling, and avoiding bad faith claims. Bad faith claims have become something of a “cottage industry” in Florida. Certain … [Read more...] about Florida Bad Faith Claims: Best Practices In Claims Handling
In The Legacy Market article that ran in the Spring 2017 issue, we discussed the various exit and capital release tools available to the European insurance market with each providing different degrees of finality and capital relief. The second Legacy Market article which ran in the Fall issue, discussed the first finality statute available in the U.S. and steps taken by other … [Read more...] about The Legacy Market: Resistance. Protection. Equivalence. Vision. That Order.
Recent developments indicate that U.S. regulators are responding to these market realities. In 2015, Rhode Island passed regulations providing for “insurance business transfers” for commercial P&C runoff business. The Rhode Island Insurance Business Transfer (RI IBT) is modeled on the U.K.’s Part VII Transfer that has been British law for almost 20 years and has resulted in … [Read more...] about Separate but Not Equal
All insurance and reinsurance companies want to avoid public disclosures or headlines regarding significant reserve increases, such as the recent newsworthy reserve adjustments that more than a few companies have taken for asbestos, silicosis, or other large tort liability claims. But how? The secret lies in the early identification of “bad” claims when there is time to alter … [Read more...] about “Eyes-On” Management: Watch Lists for Effective Management of Significant P&C Insurance Risks
On January 13, 2017, the United States and the European Union (EU) concluded negotiations on the first insurance covered agreement after this novel multilateral international agreement, envisioned and promoted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) and the U.S. state insurance regulators who are its members, was authorized by Title V of the Dodd-Frank … [Read more...] about Twisting in the Wind: Covered Agreement Dangling by Uncertainty and Politics
What does that mean? If rumors are to be believed (and there is no reason to think that they should not be), the long running dispute of United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. American ReInsurance Co. (“USF&G v. Am Re”) settled with trial looming. As many will remember, in February 2013, the New York Court of Appeals (the state’s highest court) issued an important … [Read more...] about USF&G v. American Re Settles
Recently Rhode Island revised its Voluntary Restructuring of Solvent Insurers Act as implemented by DBR Regulation 68. This is, in many respects, modeled after the UK’s Part VII Transaction, which, subject to court approval, enables companies to transfer/novate a book of business (and divest itself of all residual liability), to another unrelated insurer that assumes all … [Read more...] about Rhode Island Regulation 68: Voluntary Restructuring of Solvent Insurers Act
On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom held a referendum on membership in the European Union (EU), which the country had joined in 1973. As a surprise to many, the referendum resulted in a majority favoring an exit. The Brexit vote prompted a change in political leadership in the following month, with Theresa May being appointed Prime Minister. On March 29, 2017, the United … [Read more...] about Brexit Implications for the Runoff Business: A Macroeconomic Perspective
On January 13, 2017, the Secretary of the Treasury (“Treasury”), the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) and the European Union (“EU”) took the industry and regulators alike by surprise when they issued a press release announcing the completion of negotiations and the finalization of the “Bilateral Agreement Between the European Union and the United States of America on … [Read more...] about Does Covered Mean Equal? EU and U.S. Bilateral Agreement on Insurance and Reinsurance
In the Fall 2016 edition of AIRROC Matters, we discussed a series of contentious arbitration disputes between Meadowbrook and National Union that led to a noteworthy Sixth Circuit decision concerning the involvement of courts in arbitration proceedings and the impact of ex parte communications. In August 2016, in Star v. National Union, 2016 WL 4394563, at *1 (6th Cir. 2016), … [Read more...] about Sixth Circuit Follow-Up: Court Interventions in Arbitration Proceedings
Years ago a large global insurer, working to grow its book and establish a presence in a new market, underwrote a large deductible workers compensation account that, under normal circumstances, might have either been rejected or set at a very high premium with substantial collateral to reduce the insurer’s risk. However, neither occurred because the carrier was anxious to … [Read more...] about Your Deal: Large Deductible Programs
The State of Connecticut recently revised its judicial rules to require that any attorney not admitted in Connecticut be admitted pro hac vice prior to appearing on behalf of a client before any state or municipal government agency. As with any pro hac vice admission, out-of-state attorneys will be required to fill out the requisite application and retain local counsel as a … [Read more...] about Pro Hac Admission in Connecticut: Implications for Insurers and Attorneys Alike