Insurance and Reinsurance Disputes Blog

Intuitively, an all-risks policy is supposed to cover all risks.  But we know that even all-risks policies have exclusions.  Sometimes, however, an exclusion is reinstated in part to provide coverage for a limited species of the excluded item.  For example, an all-risks policy may exclude “collapse,” but may write back that coverage to a limited degree by providing coverage for sudden and accidental direct physical loss.  In a recent case, the Second Circuit addressed a…
In some states receivers may bring claims inside or outside the receivership court, including reinsurance arbitrations. In other states receivership proceedings end the ability of either party to bring a reinsurance arbitration outside of the liquidation court.  In a recent case, a receiver of an insolvent cedent commenced a reinsurance arbitration outside of the receivership court.  The reinsurer brought counterclaims and an award was issued in favor of the reinsurer against the insolvent cedent.  When…
Once in a while an insurance company learns that its insured did not accurately portray its risk when applying for the insurance policy.  In many cases, the insurance company will just cancel the policy, but sometimes the insurance company will want to rescind the policy so that no claims can be filed for the period between policy issuance and cancellation.  If an insurance company learns that the application was not accurate, and decides to rescind…
Under Section 9 of the Federal Arbitration Act, a court must confirm an arbitration award when a timely request is made unless there is a basis to vacate or modify the award.  But a court has no ability to confirm an arbitration award unless the award is considered a “final” award.  The law in virtually all circuits requires the award to be final and that the panel has completed its determination of every issue…
In the past several years, motions to seal arbitration documents generally have been denied in favor of the public’s right to have access to documents filed in court.  We discussed this in a prior blog post in the context of arbitration awards.  But not every court will deny a motion to seal arising from a reinsurance arbitration.…
Sometimes it is necessary to obtain evidence from non-parties during a reinsurance arbitration.  Yet, the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) does not expressly sanction non-party (or for that matter any) pre-hearing discovery.  In practice, however, most parties ask the arbitration panel to issue a subpoena to a “hearing” and then negotiate with the non-party about producing documents without the need to appear at a hearing with a witness.  Most non-parties just want the subpoena for their…
Coverage disputes between insurance carriers and policyholders are ripe for resolution through arbitration.  ARIAS•U.S. is working on a project to create an arbitration pathway, including modified rules and requirements for certified arbitrators, for these types of disputes and others.  But unless the parties agree or the insurance contract contains an arbitration clause, the arbitration option is not available. There are, however, a number of insurance policies written for industrial companies by the global insurance marketplace…
When an arbitration panel issues a final award any challenge to that award faces an uphill battle.  That is because under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) a final arbitration award must be confirmed (if requested) and can only be vacated for a very narrow set of reasons.  Of the four grounds for vacatur under Section 10 of the FAA, subsection (a)(4) provides that an award may be vacated  “where the arbitrators exceeded their powers, or so…
When a policyholder sues its carrier for breach of contract or bad faith, one question that arises is whether the policyholder should have to plead alleged damages with particularity, or whether the policyholder can sustain its claims with less specific allegations.  A New York appellate court recently declined to impose that higher, particularity standard.…