Topic: New Jersey Developments

Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge and Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP Announce Merger

The law firms of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP and Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP today announced that they will merge on October 1, 2011 (you can read the press release here).   The new firm, with 13 offices and 650 lawyers, will be known as Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP. 

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NAIC Task Force Established to Coordinate Investigation of Life Insurance Companies’ Claims Procedures

This updates our May 3, 2011 blog post.  Several state regulators have joined together to form a special task force (“Task Force”) under the auspices of the NAIC to coordinate investigation of the claims procedures of certain life insurance companies.  In particular, states are examining the manner in which such companies investigate and determine whether a particular insured is deceased, and locate beneficiaries. 

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New Jersey Passes Legislation to Ease Restrictions on Surplus Lines and Credit for Reinsurance

This updates our May 13, 2010 blog posting.  Last month, the New Jersey legislature passed the “Reinsurance and Surplus Lines Stimulus and Enhancement Act” (A2670, the “Act”).  The Act amends state law to permit surplus lines insurers domiciled in New Jersey to write surplus lines insurance in the state.  This would make New Jersey the second state in the U.S. after Illinois to allow its domestic surplus lines companies to write insurance in the home state’s surplus lines market. 

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Third Circuit D&O Decision Underlines Primacy of Exclusionary Language

In an unpublished opinion released earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit emphasized the primacy of the actual words used in a D&O insurance policy.  The decision is notable because it reflects a continued emphasis by courts on the language used in the policy that the insured actually bought, and because the court unflinchingly employs a plain-language analysis to reach its conclusions as to coverage. 

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New Jersey Insurance Commissioner Favors National Standards for Insurance Regulation, Notes Benefits from Fraud Enforcement Changes

Thomas Considine, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Insurance and Banking (the “NJDIBC”), recently stated in an interview with an insurance industry trade publication, that without uniform national standards for insurance regulations, the industry will continue to lobby for federal regulation. 

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New Jersey Joins the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact

On January 6, 2011, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation on the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact (the “Compact”).  With the passage of this legislation, New Jersey becomes a member of the national commission that develops uniform standards and consumer protections for asset-based insurance products (e.g., life insurance, annuities, disability income and long-term care insurance).  The Compact also establishes a clearinghouse for review of these product filings. 

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New Jersey Senate Makes Progress On Captive Insurance Bill

This updates our November 1, 2010 posting.  On December 6, 2010, the New Jersey Senate Commerce Committee passed S.168 (the “Bill”) by a vote of 4-0, which would permit a captive insurance market to exist in New Jersey.  The Bill is based on Vermont’s captive insurance bill, which is viewed as the state model with the best design for the captive insurance market so far. 

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