Drawing on decades of experience, we’ve seen and heard it all. From negotiating policy renewals to litigating disputes regarding policy interpretation, our experience runs the gamut and has involved the policy types listed below and many others.
We’ve Got You Covered
Commercial auto policies cover losses arising from the use of covered vehicles, including those owned, hired, leased, or borrowed by a business. Typical coverages include bodily injury liability, property damage liability, medical payments (no-fault and personal injury), uninsured and underinsured motorist, comprehensive physical damage, and collision.
Commercial General Liability (CGL)
CGL policies cover claims against businesses for property damage, bodily injury, advertising injury, and personal injury associated with common business exposures. These policies commonly cover premises liability claims (such as claims arising from slip-and-fall injuries) and damage to tangible property caused by the insured’s operations. Invasion of privacy, defamation, libel, slander, and disparagement claims may also be covered, along with copyright infringement and other intellectual property claims—depending on the policy’s terms and exclusions. CGL policies typically require the insurer to indemnify the policyholder against covered claims and impose on the insurer a duty to defend lawsuits that are even potentially covered.
Commercial Property | Business Interruption
Commercial property policies insure damage to the policyholder’s real or personal property. Coverage may be issued on a blanket basis (applying a single limit of insurance to all insured locations) or a scheduled basis (applying separate limits of insurance to specific locations). Property policies may cover loss caused by specified risks or by all risks not expressly excluded. Certain risks may be subject to specified limits of liability and exclusions may apply to particular risks (like flood or water, windstorm, or earthquake) or types of damage (such as mold, fungus, or contamination). Property policies often provide business interruption coverage as well, applicable to certain losses caused by the disruption of a policyholder’s business due to property damage at or near its location or the location of a manufacturer or supplier. Lost business income and extra expenses necessarily incurred to continue operating the business may be covered by these policies.
In response to ever-changing data security and privacy risks, cyber policies can provide a range of protection for corporate policyholders. First-party coverages protect the policyholder against its own losses caused by a security breach or system failure, including event management coverage for expenses associated with a data breach (notification costs, credit monitoring, investigation to determine cause, data restoration, cost to engage a public relations firm), network or system interruption coverage, coverage for cyber extortion, and coverage for computer-related crime and wire fraud. Third-party cyber liability coverage is designed to defend and indemnify the insured organization against claims brought by others arising from a security breach or privacy event. Many cyber policies also include regulatory, PCI-DSS, and media liability coverage.
Directors & Officers Liability (D&O) | Management Liability
D&O insurance protects a company and its directors and officers against liability for “wrongful acts” committed in their corporate capacities, including coverage for the cost of defending such claims. Managers, non-executive officers, general counsel, and employees may also be covered depending on the policy’s terms. D&O policies typically contain at least three basic insuring agreements. Coverage A or “side A” coverage protects individual directors and officers against personal liability not indemnified by the company. Coverage B or “side B” coverage protects the company against liability for indemnified “wrongful acts” of the directors and officers. Coverage C, “side C”, or entity coverage protects the company against its own liability for “wrongful acts” allegedly committed by the company. Coverage C is generally limited to securities violations in public company policies, but may be much broader in private company and not-for-profit policies. D&O policies may also include insuring agreements applicable to crisis loss (coverage D), derivative demand investigations (coverage E ), and partnership liability (coverage F).
Employment Practices Liability
EPL policies cover liability arising from employment-related claims, such as employment discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, retaliation, breach of an employment agreement, violations of state and federal employment statutes, and employment-related torts. These policies may also provide coverage for misconduct toward third parties that mirrors the coverage for employee claims. Certain remedies common in the employment context, however, are generally not covered by EPL policies, such as past or future salary, wages, commissions, benefits, severance payments, and the cost of compliance with injunctive relief. The definition of “claim” in an EPL policy is critical to understanding when coverage is triggered. EEOC complaints and demand letters qualify as claims under many EPL policies.
Excess & Umbrella
Excess and umbrella insurance policies provide additional layers of coverage above the limits of a primary policy in the event of more significant or catastrophic losses. Excess policies provide coverage after the insured has exhausted all underlying coverage, delaying excess layer obligations until the underlying limits are fully depleted. Umbrella policies provide broader coverage, including both excess coverage upon exhaustion of underlying policies and coverage for certain gaps in the underlying policies’ coverage.
Companies purchase fiduciary liability insurance to mitigate against financial loss, including potentially significant defense costs arising from claims alleging breach of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and similar laws. Fiduciary policies typically cover fiduciaries of the company’s employee benefit plans for defined “wrongful acts.” These policies may also provide errors and omissions-type coverage for negligence in the administration of employee benefit plans. Fiduciary liability policies may not cover wrongful acts of the insured organization in its capacity as a plan sponsor or “settlor”—for example, claims arising from the creation and design of a benefit plan, decisions about which employees will be covered, plan amendments, or the decision to terminate a plan. Many insurers will, however, agree to add settlor coverage at no additional charge, so this coverage may be available upon request in some markets.
Professional Liability | Errors & Omissions (E&O)
Professional liability insurance, sometimes called malpractice insurance or E&O insurance, provides coverage for damages caused by “wrongful acts” in the rendition of professional services. Professional services may include accounting, architecture, engineering, banking, real estate, investment, technology, legal, and medical services. These policies bridge a “gap” in coverage left by commercial general liability (CGL) policies, which exclude professional services. The definitions of “wrongful act” and “professional services” set the primary parameters for coverage under these policies, and gaps in coverage may result when these definitions do not line up with the policyholder’s operations.
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