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TODAY'S TOP DEVELOPMENTS Tuesday June 18, 2013

Industry news, expert analysis, and daily updates on the most significant insurance coverage legal developments—from the insurance and legal experts of The National Underwriter Company.


Life Insurance
Methamphetamine Was Not a Narcotic for Purposes of Life Insurance Policy’s Exclusion, South Carolina Supreme Court Decides
The Supreme Court of South Carolina has ruled that methamphetamine was not a narcotic within the meaning of an exclusion in a mortgage life insurance policy. The court found that methamphetamine was not commonly understood to be a narcotic based upon its “widespread illegal use,” and the exclusion therefore did not bar coverage. The case is Hutchinson v. Liberty Life Ins. Co., No. 27264 (S.C. June 12, 2013). Read More

Automobile Insurance
In Its Third Decision in a Bad Faith Case, South Dakota Supreme Court Orders a Third Jury Trial
The South Dakota Supreme Court, in a third decision in a bad faith case against an insurance company, has ordered a third jury trial. The case is Bertelsen v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 26442 (S.D. June 12, 2013). Read More

Fire Insurance
North Carolina Supreme Court, Adopting Restatement’s “Comment G,” Finds that Insurer Did Not Institute Malicious Prosecution by Providing Information about Its Insured to the Police
The North Carolina Supreme Court, adopting Comment G to Section 653 of the Restatement (Second) of Torts, has ruled that an insurer that provided information about its insured to a police sergeant, which led to the insured’s arrest, had not instituted a malicious prosecution and its actions did not constitute an unfair and deceptive practice because the sergeant had “independently exercised his discretion to make the prosecution his own.” In the court’s view, Comment G allowed citizens to make reports in good faith to police and prosecutors without fear of retaliation if the information proved to be incomplete or inaccurate; if the information was false, it protected a reporting party who believed it was true, “thus preserving the element of malice both to deter those who would subvert to their own ends the power held by police and prosecutors” and to protect citizens from one who resorted “to the process of the law without probable cause, willfully and maliciously, for the purpose of injuring his neighbor.” Moreover, the court continued, Comment G encouraged independent investigation by those in law enforcement who received the information. The case is North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Ins. Co. v. Cully’s Motorcross Park, Inc., No. 243PA12 (N.C. June 13, 2013). Read More

Automobile Insurance
Body Shop Worker Allegedly Injured while Touching Customer’s Car May Not Recover PIP Benefits Under Customer’s No-Fault Policy
A Delaware trial court has ruled that an auto body shop worker was not entitled to avail himself of a customer&rq s no-fault automobile insurance benefits for injuries the worker allegedly suffered while repairing the customer’s car. The court found that there was no “accident” involving a motor vehicle for purposes of the no-fault law, and that the policy did not provide coverage in excess of that required by the statute. The case is Sierra v. Allstate Property and Casualty Ins. Co., C.A. No. N12C–07–1921 JAP (De. Super. Ct. June 12, 2013).  Read More

View All Case Law Developments

In the States

State Insurance Regulators Work on Long Term Care Insurance
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has concluded an interim meeting on long term care insurance regulatory developments.  Read More

Insurance Fraud
Sink Boat. Seek Insurance. Go to Prison
Scott Tran has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for organizing a plot to sink his fishing boat off the coast of Cape May, New Jersey, to collect $400,000 from an insurance company. Read More

View All Legislative/Regulatory Developments
Steven A. Meyerowitz, ESQ.

Director, FC&S Legal
60px_newSpears Victoria Prussen Spears, ESQ.
Associate Director, FC&S Legal

FC&S Legal
Editorial Advisory Board

Mitchell J. Auslander, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Carrie Cope, Schuyler, Roche & Crisham, P.C.
Anjali C. Das, Wilson Elser
John F. Finnegan, Chadbourne & Parke LLP
Michele L. Jacobson, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
Timothy P. Law, Reed Smith LLP
Donald S. Malecki, Malecki, Deimling, Nielander & Associates, LLC
Cort T. Malone, Anderson Kill & Olick, P.C.
D. Milone, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
Joseph P. Monteleone, Tressler LLP
Anne M. Murray, Rivkin Radler LLP
Jerold Oshinsky, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP
Seth B. Schafler, Proskauer Rose LLP
David D. Thamann, The National Underwriter Company
Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld Elected Co-Chair of NJPAC Board of Directors Read More

California Is Only State Where Auto Insurance Costs Less Now than 25 Years Ago, CFA Study Finds Read More

Sompo Japan Completes Acquisition of Additional Shares of Brazil’s Martima Seguros Read More
Berkshire Hathaway Introduces Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Read More
Dr. Kathleen Hittner Nominated as Rhode Island Health Insurance Commissioner Read More

View All Industry News
Insurance Forms & Resources

Certificate of Insurance and Notice of Policy Cancellation
June, 2013


Browse our entire library of over 2,500 resources and forms.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance Read More

HarrisMartin’s Superstorm Sandy Insurance Coverage Litigation Conference Read More

Asbestos Claims & Litigation  
Read More

View Full Calendar


Focus On: Inadvertent Omission of Exclusion Created Only the Appearance of Coverage, Circuit Finds in Upholding Decision Overturning Jury Verdict in Insured’s Favor  Read More

State Responses to Superstorm Sandy and Other Natural Disasters: Implications for Ceding Companies and their Reinsurers  Read More

Insurance Certificates and Evidence of Insurance for Lease Transactions  Read More

View Entire June Insurance Coverage Law Report
View Insurance Coverage Law Report Archives


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