Jurisdiction: United States

LL Surplus Lines Series (Entry 29): Illinois Looks to be Latest State to Streamline Diligent Search Requirements, and to Provide Clarity for Group Policies

On February 26, 2021, a bill was introduced in the Illinois General Assembly that among other ‎changes would eliminate the diligent effort requirement for commercial business sourced by a ‎surplus lines producer through a retail insurance producer and would also reduce the requirement ‎for master policies and program business.‎

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LL Surplus Lines Series (Entry 28): Surplus Lines Compliance Reminder Issued by ‎ELANY, Regarding Group Policies and Use of Binding Authority Agreements

On February 8, 2021, the Excess Line Association of New York (“ELANY”) issued Bulletin No. ‎‎2021-05 reminding surplus line insurers and brokers about some often overlooked compliance ‎requirements. Among the topics was the issuance of group policies and use of binding authority ‎agreements.

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California’s New Mini-CFPB Law Largely Parallels Its Federal Cousin

Atlanta Partner Brian Casey, Co-Chair of Locke Lord’s Regulatory and Transactional Insurance Practice, and Austin Senior Counsel Jon Gillum co-authored an article for Insurance Journal discussing California’s recently adopted amendments to its financial code, resulting in what is now known as the California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CFPL).

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The Myth of the ‘Surplus Lines Agent’

Increasingly, the world of insurance distribution has become highly specialized, utilizing technology and a multitude of parties to reach customers worldwide. The surplus lines industry is no exception. Surplus lines brokers are not merely intermediaries between insureds and eligible surplus lines insurers that may be interested in servicing a specialty insurance market.

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Locke Lord Partners Author 2020 Insurance Year in Review Article for Insurance Journal

Atlanta Partner and Co-Chair of Locke Lord’s Regulatory and Transactional Insurance Practice Brian Casey, Chicago Partner Ben Sykes and New York Partner Zachary Lerner co-authored a two-part article for Insurance Journal discussing the top insurance regulatory developments of 2020, examining a year that brought many changes to the industry.

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New York State’s Legislature Looks to Introduce Covid-19 Related Changes in the Insurance Industry

On January 13, 2021, the New York Assembly introduced Assembly Bill A1937, which nullifies policy provisions denying claims for loss or damage to property based on virus, bacterium or other microorganisms. The bill covers businesses with fewer than 250 employees working at least 25 hours a week and provides that insurers, including excess lines insurers, which indemnify insureds who file claims based on losses due to virus, bacterium or other microorganisms, may apply to the Department of Financial Services for financial relief and reimbursement. The bill further authorizes the Department of Financial Services to collect from insurers, including excess lines insurers, amounts necessary to cover such requests for financial relief and reimbursement.

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A Fortunes Cookie For The U.S. Reinsurance Industry

Much of American law is derivative of British law, and this is particularly true in the realm of reinsurance law.  In the UK, courts distinguish between ‘follow the fortunes clauses’ and ‘follow the settlements clauses’ and attribute different meanings to each, which is often a significant factor in the determining claims and coverage related issues.  Unlike the UK, courts in the US appear not to distinguish between the two clauses, and often refer to them interchangeably, as was the case in Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co. v. OneBeacon Ins. Co., No. 14 CIV. 4718, 2020 WL 6135101 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 19, 2020).

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The Gig Economy’s Auto Insurance Market and Surplus Lines

Automobile insurance looks very different today than it did a generation ago. The means by ‎which people (and goods) travel via motor vehicles continue to expand and evolve, as do ‎businesses and their automobile insurance needs, especially in the gig economy and now with the ‎current COVID-19 pandemic disruptions. No longer do individuals exclusively rely on ‎traditional car rental companies for their temporary travel needs, as fleet-based services have ‎grown exponentially, allowing for utilization of app-based technology to identify local vehicles ‎for immediate use.‎

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