National Underwriter's Guide to the E&S/Specialty Lines News


Plaintiffs Choosy About Derivative Suit Filings, Lawyer Tells D&O Underwriters
Directors and officers liability insurers and brokers are predicting more shareholder derivative lawsuit filings in the wake of a handful of high-dollar settlements last year and the emergence of standalone suits that are not tagalongs to securities class actions. But one plaintiffs' lawyer involved in bringing a major case against Pfizer's directors and officers says the trends are overstated and that his clients only file such cases to hold serious wrongdoers accountable for behavior that damages the companies they invest in.


Failure To Document Can Be Costly Error For Agents And Brokers
If any agents or brokers doubt how expensive the simple act of not documenting a client's requests can be, all they need do is review a recent case in California where one brokerage is facing a $5.8 million judgment. In that case—Williams v. Hilb, Rogal & Hobbs Insurance Services of California—the Court of Appeal of California in Los Angeles upheld a lower court's decision that the broker failed to secure workers' compensation insurance for its client.

Construction Insurance Coverage: Building The Case For Service And Safety
In an special feature written for National Underwriter, two executives of Travelers—Scott Higgins, president of Travelers Construction, and John Komidar, vice president of Travelers Risk Control—provide a review of risk-control basics for agents who want to strengthen long-term relationships with their construction contractor customers.

Property Transactions Can Prove Toxic For Health Care Institutions If Environmental Exposures Are Dug Up
Like one health care institution that unearthed more than 100 drums of buried pesticides and herbicides on land it acquired to construct a new hospital, many institutions can face significant costs for dealing with environmental liabilities arising from property acquisitions and transfers. Potential exposures can be mitigated by contract or through insurance, however, advises John J. Heft of New Day Underwriting Managers, who recommends pollution legal liability coverage from among the myriad of coverage types available and gives a list of coverage provisions to seek in manuscripted forms.

14 Insurers Sued Over 700 Chinese Drywall Losses
A trust formed to handle Chinese drywall damage claims for over 700 homeowners involving a bankrupt homebuilder—WCI Communities—filed a federal lawsuit last month, naming 14 specialty insurers and seeking indemnification for their losses. The builder, its subsidiaries and subcontractors purchased insurance policies with aggregate limits of over $200 million during the policy periods triggered by Chinese drywall claims, which began in 2006, according to the New York-based law firm of Anderson Kill & Olick, P.C.

Newly Emboldened EEOC Makes Life Tougher For RMs On Employment Risks
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission isn't preserving its enforcement dollars to go after large employers that may be engaged in systematic hiring and other workplace-discrimination practices, according to Gerald L. Maatman Jr., a partner with Seyfarth Shaw LLP in Chicago. Smaller and midsize employers are often investigated on the theory that their compliance programs are less sophisticated than industry leaders, or that a lack of a human resources department translates into more discrimination problems, he wrote in this article that reviews the agency's current areas of focus.

This Month in NU Magazine
In National Underwriter magazine this month, the Feb. 15 edition will include a feature on the special events and entertainment market, as well as a preview of the activities on tap at the Midyear Leadership Forum of the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices, Ltd. taking place in Scottsdale in early March. The Feb. 22 edition will include a feature on specialty insurance market for day care and eldercare facilities.

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