Archive for November, 2012

Dealing with mold risks in the aftermath of Sandy

November 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Hurricane Sandy left millions of businesses and homeowners without power, facing gas shortages and with massive property destruction. The biggest threat, however, may come from mold damage left behind in flooded homes and buildings.

Already increasing at an alarming rate across the country, mold-related claims have become more public, with settlement amounts getting larger. The Alliance of American Insurers estimates that there are over 20,000 active lawsuits nationally involving mold claims filed by homeowners or building owners. That number continues to grow in the aftermath of Sandy as bacteria and mold has been left behind in homes, hotels, commercial buildings and enclosed areas that were flooded. Read more…

The JOBS Act impact on Directors & Officers Liability

November 26, 2012 Leave a comment

The adoption of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act last April signaled impending changes to the insurance industry. The extent and significance of those changes however, was not entirely clear and left liability experts questioning just how big of an impact the law would have on the current market.

Now six months later, several components of the law have been utilized by emerging growth companies going public.  However, the implications of the JOBS Act on Directors’ & Officers’ Liability (D&O) coverage are still not yet fully known. In the meantime, industry groups and leaders continue to discuss the various components of the law and contemplate the changes ahead.

WGA has published a White Paper on these issues. Click here to read to learn more Read more…

Long term disability claims increase in today’s economic environment

November 16, 2012 Leave a comment

The Council for Disability Awareness recently released its annual Long-Term Disability Claims Review from the U.S. working population. The report summarizes quantitative and qualitative long-term disability insurance claims data from 2007-2011, collected from CDA members. This year’s study includes data from 17 CDA member companies and represents over 75 percent of the commercial disability insurance marketplace. The results highlight emerging trends which allows for evaluation of the impact of these claims.

The report also includes selected worker disability data from the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. 

The following are a few key findings from the 2012 CDA Survey:  Read more…

Post Sandy snowstorm complicates claims

November 15, 2012 Leave a comment

The post-Sandy snowstorm that hit the Northeast last week caused additional damage for many homeowners and businesses, further complicating the insurance claims process that had already begun the prior week. Snow and wind damages from last week’s nor’easter hit several states including New York and New Jersey,  delaying power outages and worsening road and rail traffic that had not yet been repaired from the effects of Sandy. This means ongoing trouble and further delay in negotiations between commercial policy holders and insurance companies over coverage issues.

Many adjusters were still in the process of identifying losses from Sandy when the second storm hit, making it increasingly difficult to determine which storm caused what damage to properties. Experts say the most significant questions are likely to surround business interruption Read more…

Sandy coverage update: ACC and FEMA guidelines

November 12, 2012 Leave a comment

The latest estimates of insured losses from Hurricane Sandy have reached nearly $15 billion, mostly triggered from flood and wind perils. As insurers face a growing number of claims filed by homeowners and businesses, policyholders should review their policies carefully to check for specific carve-outs and exclusions. Among the most important to note are anti-concurrent causation clauses, (ACC) provisions which allow insurers to deny claims based on excluded causes like flooding, if they occur at the same time as other covered causes, such as wind damage. These clauses, invoked in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, aim to protect insurers from facing greater liability than the coverage they provided, but can leave consumers with little to no coverage and exorbitant costs. There are a variety of formulations of these clauses, depending on the insurer Read more…

Four possible scenarios for PPACA after the election

Election day is finally here, and many of our clients, colleagues, and others are asking us, what impact will the election have on health care reform. Along with our clients, we have lived with the positives and negatives of both Massachusetts and the beginning stages of Federal Healthcare Reform since 2007. Long after the election of November 6 2012 is settled, many questions will remain, regardless of the political outcome.

#1:Romney and Republican Victory
Romney wins the election and the Republicans take over the Senate with at least 60 seats. They hold onto the House of Representatives. Romney upholds his campaign promise to sign an executive order to allow the states to obtain waivers from PPACA, but does that end things immediately. History has shown that newly sworn in Presidents Read more…

Law firms learn the importance of off-site power in wake of Sandy

Tuesday’s AmLaw Daily highlights the significant impact many law firms have suffered since the arrival of Sandy.  The impact of the super storm is being felt all along the east coast and many firms’ disaster recovery plans are being put to the test. The advancements in technology in recent years have allowed firms to easily conduct business at remote locations, therefore the impact with such a storm to daily workflow is not given much attention.  In general, the idea is that if the office is closed, attorneys and other employees can just work from home by linking into firm servers remotely.  However with such widespread power outages impacting such a large region all at once, the revenue streams of many east coast firms are at risk.

The majority of losses for law firms will have two potential areas to recoup loss of revenues due to Sandy. The first is Business Interruption coverage (also known as Business Income Insurance or “BI”). Business Interruption covers the loss Read more…