Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Natural Disasters in Latin America: A Look Back at 2017

2017 saw approximately USD 330 billion in losses from natural disasters worldwide, of which around USD 135 billion were insured, according to a Munich Re report. It was the second costliest year on record, only surpassed by 2011. Latin America was no exception to the trend, as a number of natural catastrophes hit the region last year.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Third Time’s A Charm - Will This Be The Year Of The AOB Reformation?

The Florida House of Representatives struck another blow against abusive, unequitable, and baseless assignment of benefits (“AOB”) litigation when it voted overwhelmingly in favor of reform by a margin of 82-20 last Friday.  Undeterred by the failure of previous attempts to reform AOB litigation in Florida, (Senate Bill 596, filed October 21, 2015, died in judiciary on March 11, 2016; House Bill 1097, filed January 4, 2016, died in the Regulatory Affairs Committee; House Bill 1421 filed March 7, 2017, died in Committee on Banking and Insurance on May 5, 2017; Senate Bill 1218, filed on February 24, 2017, died on May 5, 2017 in Committee on Related Industries), on January 12, 2018, Florida legislators acted decisively to address the AOB problem that has plagued the insurance industry in Florida.

Friday, January 12, 2018

2017 – A Record Setting Year

2017 was a year of records for sure.  Most notably, professional eater Joey Chestnut set a new record by eating 55 glazed doughnuts in eight minutes.[1] At a university in Ohio, 972 people set a record by dressing as penguins.[2]  And, Ayanna Williams of Texas set a record thanks to her fingernails reaching a combined total length of 18 feet, 10.9 inches.[3] Unfortunately, the U.S. also set a record in 2017 with a total of $306 billion in damage resulting from several natural disasters. In fact, the 2017 season was the first time that three Category 4 hurricanes — Harvey, Irma, and Maria — made landfall in the United States and its territories in a one-year period.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

No “Backsies”: The Enforcement of Forfeiture Clauses Under Florida Law

Under Florida law, insurance coverage cannot be created by estoppel; however, enforcement of a forfeiture clause may be waived by an insurer’s conduct. Axis Surplus Ins. Co. v. Caribbean Beach Club Association, Inc., 164 So. 3d 684, (Fla. 2nd DCA 2014), 164 So. 3d 687. Generally, a forfeiture clause is one that requires an insured to take specific action (e.g., a notice provision or a cooperation clause) as a prerequisite to coverage under the policy. An insured’s failure to comply with the clause can result in the forfeiture of coverage for a claim that otherwise would have been covered under the policy. Lloyds Underwriters at London v. Keystone Equip. Fin. Corp., 25 So. 3d 89, 92-93 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009).

Friday, January 5, 2018

You Dropped a Bomb (Cyclone) on Me

Move over Snowmageddon and make way for the “bomb cyclone” which hit the East Coast January 4, 2018.  While the official name of this winter storm is “Grayson”, the media focused on the phenomenon (bombogenesis) that increased Grayson’s wrath and fury, converting it from a run-of-the-mill Nor’easter into a “bomb cyclone.” 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Pardon this interruption… Service Interruption Provisions and Hurricanes

As the urgency to repair immediate physical damage to commercial property subsides, and businesses begin to get back to business as normal in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, we will undoubtedly see claims to recover lost revenue, or extra expenses incurred as a result of the storm.  These claims arise under a general claim for business interruption coverage.