Bad Faith in the Absence of Coverage – Recent Trends and Developments

“An insurer’s knee-jerk denial letter cannot be saved from triggering the penalties [of bad faith] merely because the insurer’s lawyer is able to construct a post-hoc justification for denying coverage. “[I]nsurers that unreasonably delay the evaluation of the insureds’ claims [can be found liable for bad faith], even if the insurer’s ultimate assessment of the claim proves to be correct ‘”Holding otherwise could potentially result in insurers taking the gamble that a denial based on a cursory review will be rescued by a clever trial lawyer.”

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Lead Paint Abatement and Insurance Coverage in New York

On March 24, 2022, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Department, issued a noteworthy ruling in Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, et al. v. NL Industries, Inc., 2022 NY Slip Op 02056. The case is noteworthy for a few reasons in terms of the interpretation of insurance coverage and issues…

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Social Media as a Factor in Personal Injury Underwriting: Risk, Rate and Regulation

Social media claims against individuals are increasing, yet insurance coverage
for individuals for such claims is rarely available unless the insured has a personal
injury endorsement to the standard homeowners policy or the insured has an
umbrella policy, or the rare company-specific insurer includes such coverage. This
suggests a market opportunity to provide this coverage. Underwriting this exposure
will likely require examining social media as a new rate factor. Obtaining relevant
information on this and showing predictive indicators is one challenge, particularly
where social media use liability might be correlated with other factors, including
other external data. Such factors will have to be approved by state insurance
regulators and shown to be reliable and not unfairly discriminatory. This will likely
open these factors to underwrite other coverages and policies, even if not approved
or reliable. Some social media use might actually be a business pursuit, thus
requiring this added coverage. A media liability policy crafted for the new exposure
might be more effective to provide coverage if underwriting the factors can be
regulated.

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Follow Up: Dressing Professionally

Last year I wrote a commentary, “To Dress or Not—Is Professional Attire Outdated?,” on whether or not students should be expected to dress professionally for interviews and career fairs. I asked for feedback and encouraged responses. I’m pleased to say I got a lot of thoughtful responses from a wide range of readers. Executives, claims adjusters, independent agents, corporate trainers, and many others chimed in.

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COVID-19: Learning, Graduation, and the Job Search

To any students reading this—it’s time to show your very best, not your very bare minimum! Remember, what you do online is now all we have to grade you on. Sure, you completed half the semester before spring break, but there’s still this second half, and we can only grade what you actually do during it. Poor performance, even under these dire circumstances, will not only impact grades (yes, we still have to issue those), but it will also impact the references your professors give for you when employers call.

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Musings of a Socially-Distanced Professor: New Habits

Remember the people who waste a lot of time bouncing up and down the halls, chitchatting at the water cooler and otherwise not working? They’re about to be found out. There’s no hiding a lack of output anymore. I’m seeing this in my students. I’m seeing who is taking responsibilities seriously and who isn’t. It’s as plain as the screen in front of my face.

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