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Top Insurance Coverage Cases Of 2020

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February 17, 2021

The COVID pandemic spawned a number of these cases, including some significant policyholder victories related specifically to business interruption claims. Among these are Studio 417, Inc., et al. v. The Cincinnati Ins. Co., a case from the Western District of Missouri. That court “rejected the argument often advanced by insurers that ‘all-risks’ property insurance policies require a physical, structural alteration to trigger coverage,” explains this post from law firm Hunton Andrews Kurth. Notably, according to the Hunton post, Studio 417 declined to follow a decision that had come down earlier in the year from the Southern District of New York and become a favorite cite by carriers. The insurer in that case, denying coverage, had argued that “the virus damages lungs, not printing presses.”

Cases on the Hunton list that were not COVID-related include an Illinois Appellate Court decision that required the carrier to cover a claim from a company that had been sued in a putative class action for alleged violation of the Illinois Information Privacy Act. This case, say the writers, “is likely to open the door for a flood of claims related to one of the fastest-growing areas of privacy litigation in the country.”

This post continues to recommend insurance coverage for ransomware attacks, but acknowledges the issue has been clouded by a recent advisory from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. It cautions insurers they may be violating anti-money laundering and sanctions regulations if they pay ransom to cybercriminals. “This can present a problem for policyholders who thought they purchased insurance specifically to cover ransomware attacks and now may be facing a recalcitrant insurer.”

 

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