Jurisdiction: United States

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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Supreme Court Rules States Can Regulate PBMs

On December 10th, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its ruling in Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), which held Arkansas’ Act 900 is not pre-empted by ERISA. This decision is seen as a victory for the interests of patients, pharmacists, and community pharmacies, as states and local authorities will now have greater ability to regulate PBMs.

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Privacy & Cybersecurity Newsletter – Fall 2020

Locke Lord’s Privacy & Cybersecurity Newsletter provides topical snapshots of recent developments in the fast-changing world of privacy, data protection, and cyber risk management. For further information on any of the subjects covered in the newsletter, please contact one of the members of our privacy and cybersecurity team.

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COVID-19 Weekly Insurance Regulatory Updates To Keep You Informed During The Lockdown (October 26-30, 2020)

In conjunction with the Locke Lord COVID-19 task force, we are reviewing, analyzing, and compiling regulatory updates to provide clients easy access to information during this unprecedented time.  If you have any questions on the subject matter below, do not hesitate to reach out.  The information below relates to state and federal bulletins, emergency orders, pending/enacted legislation, and other related actions taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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