Archives: Estoppel and waiver

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Limitations Periods in Insurance Policies

Here are a few universal truths. If politicians can raise taxes, they will.  If lawyers can bill, they will. And if judges can find a way to help clear their docket, they will.  That last truth can create a serious problem for the unwary dealing with insurance claims. Many business property policies and homeowners’ policies … Continue Reading

Insurance Coverage for Alleged Intentional Harm

I’ve sometimes commented on this blog that my first boss in the business warned me: “If you assume there’s no coverage, you won’t find any.” There are plenty of risk managers and brokers who believe that general liability insurance coverage exists primarily to protect against people falling down in the parking lot. Not suprisingly, many … Continue Reading

The Appraisal Provision in First-Party Property Policies

I’m not a big fan of arbitration.  I think it costs too much (which kind of goes against its main marketing point), and I don’t particularly like the fact that there’s no right of appeal absent the arbitrator committing fraud. Having said that, and with so many Sandy-related claims still pending in New Jersey, I … Continue Reading

Notice Requirements and Claims-Made Coverage

“For want of a shoe, the horse was lost,” goes the old saying.  If you handle claims from the policyholder side, nothing will aggravate you more than seeing a perfectly good claim go awry because of poor risk management controls in an organization, especially the failure to give notice under potentially applicable insurance policies. The … Continue Reading

When is a “reservation of rights” letter enforceable?

Lawyers and insurance companies are forever reserving their rights.  Sometimes I think it’s a reflex action against ever being forced to take an actual position.  But in the world of insurance coverage, “reservation of rights” letters do serve a function. Insurance companies fear that if they undertake the investigation or defense of a claim, for example, … Continue Reading

Can an insurance policy shorten the statute of limitations?

With the one-year anniversary of Sandy just having passed, many policyholders are asking how long they have to sue their carrier. Be careful. Many insurance policies contain limitations periods that shorten the general six-year statute of limitations for breach of contract in New Jersey. Such provisions are enforceable both in New Jersey and in New … Continue Reading

The statute of limitations for insurance claims

A couple of weeks ago, we got a nice result ($13 million verdict) following a three-month trial in BASF Catalysts, LLC v. Allstate Insurance Company, one of the last great complex environmental coverage beasts.  We had the pleasure of co-counseling the matter with Dave Oberdick and his team from the Pittsburgh, PA firm of Meyer, Unkovic … Continue Reading