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April 18, 2014 11:22 AM | Permalink |
Amber Mills
On April 15, 2014, legislation was passed in Vermont enhancing the state’s captive law. H.563, known as “An Act Relating To Captive Insurance Laws And Accreditation Standards,” allows a “dormant” captive to maintain licensing status within Vermont.  read more
April 18, 2014 10:20 AM | Permalink |
Lori Basilico
The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has given final approval for Intel Corp. to use its Hawaii-based captive insurer to reinsure group term life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment policies issued by Minnesota Life Insurance Co.  read more
April 17, 2014 8:08 AM | Permalink |
Amber Mills
New York’s latest budget agreement was announced on March 30, 2014 and includes a measure to provide the Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) with authority to issue licenses to title insurance agents for the first time.  read more
April 15, 2014 8:20 AM | Permalink |
Leo Spicer-Phelps
In Saville v Central Capital Limited [2014] EWCA Civ 337, the Court of Appeal upheld an appeal brought by a couple provided with insufficient payment protection insurance (PPI) sold in breach of the Insurance Conduct of Business Rules (the ICOB Rules).  read more
April 15, 2014 8:14 AM | Permalink |
Amber Mills
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has adopted new rules implementing provisions of the Texas Insurance Code that remove regulatory barriers for captives. The new rules go into effect on April 27, 2014.  read more
April 14, 2014 2:36 PM | Permalink |
Amber Mills
In a letter addressed to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Benjamin Lawsky, Superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services (the “DFS”), said the DFS will be issuing a regulation in the coming weeks that is expected to reduce the amount of reserves that life insurers must hold for future claims by 30% to 35%.  read more
April 11, 2014 5:21 PM | Permalink |
Alfred Kritzman
The New York Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) has issued subpoenas to four insurers as part of an ongoing probe into violations of U.S. trade sanctions against Iran.  read more
April 11, 2014 8:30 AM | Permalink |
Patrick Peng, Martin Lister
On 25 March 2014, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong) signed an agreement with the Government of the United States of America (US) relating to the exchange of information relating to taxes. This is the first TIEA signed by Hong Kong.  read more
April 10, 2014 3:59 PM | Permalink |
Edwards Wildman's John Fusco, partner in the Business Law Department discuss "The United States Restricts Trade with Russia."  read more
April 10, 2014 2:20 PM | Permalink |
Amber Mills
A bipartisan group of senators have co-sponsored a measure to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (“TRIA”) for the next seven years. TRIA, which is set to expire at the end of 2014, was put into place after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  read more
April 10, 2014 2:08 PM | Permalink |
Alexander Henlin
We have been closely following the progress of a Massachusetts bill that would realign the Commonwealth’s reinsurance regulations to make them more consistent with the increasingly global nature of insurance and reinsurance markets.  read more
Following up on our earlier Insurance and Reinsurance Blog on this matter (the relevant post can be found here), the Internal Revenue Service today filed an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit of the recent United States District Court decision in the Validus case (holding that the excise tax imposed on the foreign insurance/reinsurance of U.S. risks by Section 4371 of the Internal Revenue Code does not apply to retrocession policies).  read more
April 9, 2014 3:09 PM | Permalink |
Edwards Wildman's Lori Basilico, partner in the Healthcare Practice Group discuss "U.S. House of Representatives Passes Bill to Redefine Full-Time Employee Under the Affordable Care Act."  read more
April 9, 2014 2:19 PM | Permalink |
Aubrey Blatchley
On March 31, 2014, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) issued three separate Circular Letters pursuant to various laws, including Insurance Law Sections 308, 1109, 2130 and 7001, Articles 42, 44 through 47, 52 through 55 and 59, and Financial Services Law Sections 202 and 306, setting forth standards expected of the “addressees” (as defined below) in planning, preparing for and responding to disasters in New York State.  read more
Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London (“Lloyd’s”) have engaged in discussions with the Turkish government to discuss Lloyd’s entry into Turkey.  read more
April 8, 2014 3:29 PM | Permalink |
Alexander Henlin
The federal district court in Massachusetts has declared that a professional liability insurer owes no duty to defend its insured, an accounting firm, against a suit alleging that the accounting firm negligently advised its client to invest in a Ponzi scheme.  read more
April 7, 2014 11:30 AM | Permalink |
Alexander Henlin
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit earlier this year held that the preclusive effect of a prior arbitration is itself a matter for arbitration as between a reinsurer and its cedent.  read more
April 1, 2014 2:35 PM | Permalink |
Zachary Lerner
On March 31, 2014, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP (“Edwards Wildman”) hosted an informal roundtable attended by Pennsylvania Commissioner Michael Consedine. Other invitees included clients of Edwards Wildman, as well as acquaintances of the firm.  read more
April 1, 2014 1:12 PM | Permalink |
Zachary Lerner
The Principle-Based Reserving (“PBR”) Implementation (EX) Task Force (the “Task Force”) discussed a variety of topics related to the development and implementation of PBR at the Spring NAIC Meeting. During introductory comments, it was noted that 9 states have enacted PBR legislation, with 4 states waiting for their respective governors to sign PBR into law.  read more
April 1, 2014 7:57 AM | Permalink |
Gregory Pendleton
The Appeals Court of Massachusetts recently issued a coverage decision captioned Hurley v. Comproni, et al., 85 Mass. App. Ct. 1101, 3 N.E.3d 615 (Mass. App. Ct. 2014) (unpublished) (available here). The decision stemmed from an insured lawyer’s repeated failure to complete service in an underlying personal injury action, resulting in that action being time-barred.  read more
March 31, 2014 11:15 AM | Permalink |
Zachary Lerner
The International Insurance Relations (G) Committee (the “Committee”) Spring NAIC Meeting focused primarily on providing updates to efforts made in the international sphere by the NAIC.  read more
March 31, 2014 11:10 AM | Permalink |
Zachary Lerner
The Reinsurance (E) Task Force (“Task Force”) NAIC Spring Meeting covered a variety of reports and initiatives, however the bulk of the meeting focused on the certification process for reinsurers.  read more
March 31, 2014 11:05 AM | Permalink |
Zachary Lerner
The Financial Regulation Standards and Accreditation (F) Committee (the “Committee”) Spring NAIC Meeting addressed a number of pertinent topics; however, the majority of debate and comments centered around the definition of “Multi-State Insurer” for accreditation purposes.  read more
March 30, 2014 3:14 PM | Permalink |
Zachary Lerner
The Mortgage Guaranty Insurance (E) Working Group (the “Group”) Spring NAIC Meeting focused on the debate around the NAIC’s latest draft of the Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Model Act (the “Act”). read more
March 30, 2014 3:12 PM | Permalink |
Zachary Lerner
On Saturday, March 29th, 2014, the Emerging Accounting Issues Working Group & Statutory Account Principles Working Group held a meeting to adopt certain standards and to expose other proposals for comments. The sole topic of substantial debate surrounded moving forward with the Accounting for the Risk Sharing Provisions of the Affordable Care Act (the “Act”).  read more
March 29, 2014 7:48 AM | Permalink |
Zachary Lerner
Speakers at the Spring NAIC Meeting in Orlando on the topic of insuring cyber liability risk offered commentary on risks and damages associated with cyber attacks in the United States, as well as how the insurance market has (and has not) developed to help mitigate risk. Representatives included district attorneys, practicing intellectual property lawyers, federal agents as well as state regulators.  read more
March 28, 2014 11:39 AM | Permalink |
Ari Moskowitz
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) held a Cybersecurity Roundtable discussion in Washington, DC Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at which representatives from the government and private sector, including publicly held corporations, market exchanges, investment advisors, and the insurance industry, discussed cybersecurity risks and the role the government, and specifically the SEC, could play in mitigating those risks.  read more
March 28, 2014 8:23 AM | Permalink |
Amber Mills
On March 25, 2014, Delaware’s House of Representatives passed HB 104 “An Act To Amend Title 18 Of The Delaware Code Relating To Certificates Of Insurance” by a vote of 38 to 0. The bill, which passed in the Senate on March 19th by a vote of 18 to 0, is on its way to the governor for consideration.  read more
March 26, 2014 10:10 AM | Permalink |
We cordially invite you to join insurance industry attendees to the AIRROC Boston Regional Education Day on April 9th. The full day program and post-session reception will be held in the offices of Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, 111 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA.  read more
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has published guidance on the significance and potential implications of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) remit to promote effective competition and, from April 2015, enforce competition law under the Competition Act 1998. The guidance gives comments and recommendations to both the FCA and the insurance industry on the new regulatory objectives of the FCA and how these can be best achieved.  read more
March 24, 2014 9:01 AM | Permalink |
Zachary Lerner
On February 17, 2014, the NAIC Principle-Based Reserving Implementation (EX) Task Force opened for comment a report by Rector & Associates, Inc. (the “Rector Report”) regarding reserve financing transactions.  read more
As previously discussed in our Insurance and Reinsurance Blog (the relevant post can be found here), the United States District Court for the District of Columbia recently ruled that the excise tax imposed on the foreign insurance/reinsurance of U.S. risks by Section 4371 of the Internal Revenue Code does not apply to retrocessions. Validus, a Bermuda reinsurer, filed the refund suit in this case with respect to excise taxes it had paid on nine retrocession policies.  read more
March 20, 2014 11:39 AM | Permalink |
Alfred Kritzman
President Barack Obama announced a new round of sanctions against Russian officials and influential individuals on March 20, 2014. According to the President, this new round of sanctions targets “individuals with substantial resources and influence who provide material support to the Russian leadership, as well as a bank that provides material support to these individuals.”  read more
March 20, 2014 8:36 AM | Permalink |
Chris Finney, Ajita Shah
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published yesterday, the results of its market study into general insurance ‘add-on’ products. Add-ons are sold alongside or on the back of ‘primary products’ such as travel insurance sold with a flight, or mobile phone insurance sold with a mobile phone.  read more
March 19, 2014 2:13 PM | Permalink |
Alexander Henlin
Last week, we wrote about pending legislation in Massachusetts that would realign the state’s reinsurance regulations to make them more consistent with the increasingly global nature of insurance and reinsurance markets.  read more
March 19, 2014 2:02 PM | Permalink |
Edwards Wildman's Leslie Levinson, partner, and Michaela (“Kayla”) Tabela, associate in the Healthcare Practice Group discuss "House Passes SGR Fix,” “Administration Will Not Delay Individual Mandate” and “FY2015 Proposed Budget Increases Funding for Fraud and Abuse Enforcement."   read more
March 19, 2014 10:03 AM | Permalink |
Barry Weissman
Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Thomas Leonardi has voiced several concerns about the long overdue (2 years to be exact) Federal Insurance Office (FIO) report, "How to Modernize and Improve the System of Insurance Regulation in the United States" (the “FIO report”).  read more
March 19, 2014 9:55 AM | Permalink |
Geoffrey Rosenblat
The Texas Department of Insurance (the “TDI”) has scheduled a public meeting for March 26, 2014 to discuss the implementation of SB 697, SB 951, SB 1806, HB 3410 and HB 1405, and general surplus lines rules development. SB 697 exempts certain non-resident individuals from needing to be licensed as a Texas general property and casualty agent in order to obtain a Texas surplus lines agent license.  read more
March 18, 2014 3:21 PM | Permalink |
Alexander Henlin
The Massachusetts Appeals Court has upheld a lower-court judgment severely limiting the amount of coverage available to a motor vehicle policyholder, writing that the policyholder’s failure to control who operated the car constituted a misrepresentation that invalidated coverage even in the absence of an intent to deceive.  read more
March 18, 2014 12:17 PM | Permalink |
Alfred Kritzman
President Obama stepped up the diplomatic pressure on Russia by signing a new executive order titled “Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine” (the “Second Executive Order”). The Second Executive Order follows on the heels of a referendum in the autonomous region of Crimea on March 17, 2014, in which over 90% of the voting population of Crimea casted ballots in favor of seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia.  read more
March 17, 2014 9:54 AM | Permalink |
Jane Elphick
In KAIROS SHIPPING LTD & STANDARD CLUB LTD V ENKA & CO LLC & ORS 2014 EWCA Civ 217, Karios sought a declaration that it was entitled to constitute a limitation fund
(a fund providing a maximum limit for its claims liability under the International Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976) by means of a guarantee in the form of a letter of undertaking provided by a protection and indemnity (P&I) club.  read more
March 14, 2014 2:18 PM | Permalink |
U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) has introduced a bill, S.2012, in an effort to clarify the application of Section 171 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) to insurance companies. Section 171 (codified at 12 U.S.C. 5371) requires insured depository institutions, depository institution holding companies, and nonbank financial companies to maintain certain capital levels on a consolidated basis (i.e., Basel III global capital standards).  read more
March 14, 2014 8:05 AM | Permalink |
William Slaiding
On 26 February 2014, a plenary session of the European Parliament voted on the proposals to revise the Insurance Mediation Directive (the revised Directive commonly referred to as IMD2). However, despite certain amendments being approved by the Parliament, a vote to approve the latest draft was deferred and the draft was referred back to the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.  read more
March 13, 2014 3:27 PM | Permalink |
Alexander Henlin
The Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Financial Services is due to report next week on HB 881, An Act Relative to Reinsurance Requirements. Sponsored by Representative Michael Costello of Newburyport, the bill closely tracks the NAIC’s Revised Credit for Reinsurance Model Law, which has already been adopted in eighteen states, including New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.  read more
March 13, 2014 9:28 AM | Permalink |
Alfred Kritzman
In a letter dated November 10, 2013 (the “Letter”) to the United States Senate Banking Committee (the “Committee”), the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) showed support for Committee members seeking to address the potential confusion regarding capital and leverage requirements for insurers regulated by the Federal Reserve due to being either considered (1) a thrift holding company, or (2) a systemically important financial institution as designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council.  read more
March 13, 2014 8:00 AM | Permalink |
Kimberley Cottrell
EIOPA has published additional information on its General Good provisions which are intended to promote transparency for cross-border activity in accordance with Article 9 of the EIOPA Regulation. The provisions list some of the requirements that are to be observed by insurance undertakings and/or intermediaries that intend to carry on business in EU/EEA Member States, hence protecting the ‘general good’.  read more
March 12, 2014 8:40 AM | Permalink |
Chris Finney
The European Parliament finally considered and adopted the Omnibus II Directive yesterday (11 March 2014).  read more
March 12, 2014 8:33 AM | Permalink |
Alfred Kritzman
Storm Shutters

Pursuant to the Connecticut Insurance Code, “[n]o insurer that delivers, issues for delivery, renews, amends or endorses a homeowners insurance policy in this state shall refuse to renew or issue such a policy solely on the basis that the insured or prospective insured has failed to install permanent storm shutters on his or her residential dwelling as a means of mitigating loss from hurricanes or other severe storms.”  read more
March 11, 2014 3:10 PM | Permalink |
Patrick Frye
In Intervest Construction of Jax v. General Fidelity Ins. Co., the Florida Supreme Court considered insurance policy language that called for a self-insured retention to be exhausted by “payments made by the insured.”  read more
March 11, 2014 2:41 PM | Permalink |
Amber Mills
Moving into its 7th year, the Insurance Contracts Project saw significant progress last month, signaling to the industry that the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) are serious about adhering to a timeline for change.  read more