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Category: Insurance Law

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Cyber Liability Insurance Coverage — the Basics

Fri May 29th, 2020 on     Insurance Law,    

Leading Insurance Law Firm in Miami, FL In today’s technologically-driven world, cybersecurity has become an increasingly critical concern for businesses that store, manage, and distribute consumer data — sensitive and otherwise. Over the past decade, a number of significant data breaches — including the infamous “Sony hack” and the “Equifax incident” — have disseminated the data of hundreds of millions of customers to the world, exposing said customers to both privacy violations and potential personal/financial risks. Though companies are increasingly developing internal mechanisms to prevent large-scale breaches (and subsequent cyber liability), they are also taking steps to insure themselves against liability should another event occur. Unfortunately — as is typical of insurance coverage — companies are finding that their policies may not be as comprehensive as they originally thought.  In many cases, insurers are denying claims on the basis of complicated policy exceptions and ambiguous coverage language. Here at Ver Ploeg & Marino, P.A., our team of attorneys works closely with policyholders who have submitted claims and were unfairly denied or who received a payout that is less than expected under their policy.  We encourage you to contact our Miami insurance law firm directly to learn more about how we can assist your business. Commercial General Liability (CGL) Policies and Cyber Liability Most companies do not have specific cyber insurance policies and instead rely on patchwork CGL and E&O coverage.  This can lead to several challenges, as insurers may deny claims due to certain coverage ambiguities built into the plan. […]

Insurance Broker Malpractice FAQs

Fri Jan 17th, 2020 on     FAQs,    

Work With a Skilled Miami Insurance Litigation Lawyer   Insurance claim denials often come as a surprise to policyholders who were led to believe that their coverage is more comprehensive than it is in reality.  In fact, this is not an uncommon scenario — an insurance policyholder is attempting to secure benefits on a claim when they discover that some exclusion (or other provision) in the insurance plan prevents recovery.  If the policyholder obtained such coverage through an insurance agent or broker who misled them somehow, whether through an incorrect disclosure or through a failure to disclose certain information, then an actionable claim may arise under the law. As a policyholder — lacking a detailed understanding of the various plan offerings and how they differ from one another — it can be frustrating to put your trust into an insurance broker or agent, only to discover that they were negligent in their responsibilities, or worse, that they intentionally misrepresented information so as to induce you into signing up for an insurance plan. This informational asymmetry — whether created by mere negligence or out of an intentional desire to defraud the policyholder — happens a lot more often than the public may realize.  In the event that you find yourself having been taken advantage of by an insurance broker, it’s important to understand that you are not without legal options.  Florida law protects policyholders who have suffered losses (i.e., claim denial) due to the misconduct of an insurance broker or agent. […]

Commercial General Liability Policies and the Duty to Defend

Tue Dec 31st, 2019 on     Insurance Law,    

Experienced Insurance Litigation Lawyer in Miami, FL Many Commercial General Liability (CGL) policyholders assume that their insurer will necessarily jump to their defense and provide the services that are required under their CGL policy.  The reality can be sobering.  Insurers will do everything they can to avoid additional losses, and this includes aggressive attempts to avoid having to engage their duty to defend the policyholder against third-party claims.  If the insurer is successful, this can put the policyholder in an unenviable position, forcing them to pay out-of-pocket for their own defense in the ensuing lawsuit. CGL policies typically include a duty-to-defend provision that compels the insurer to step in and handle your defense in the event of third-party litigation.  But how do these obligations work, exactly? Understanding the Duty to Defend CGL insurers (where the policy includes a duty-to-defend) are obligated to handle their policyholder’s defense, and in some cases, to indemnify the policyholder if the case leads to damages. In many cases, however, insurers fail these obligations: The insurer may argue that the claims at-issue are not entitled to coverage under the policy, and may refrain from providing a defense on that basis; or The insurer may handle your defense but may not perform their obligations reasonably under the circumstances. With respect to (a), it’s worth noting that an insurer’s obligation to defend is based on the allegations in a lawsuit.  The insurer must provide a defense in the lawsuit even if there is only one allegation that is […]

Issues in Professional E&O Insurance Coverage

Fri Nov 15th, 2019 on     Insurance Law,    

Experienced Insurance Litigation Lawyer in Miami, FL If you’ve been sued for professional malpractice and are presumably covered by a professional errors & omissions (E&O) insurance plan, then you may be surprised to discover that — in the wake of the aforementioned third-party lawsuit — your insurer is engaged in various attempts to avoid having to payout for your liabilities, and to avoid having to possibly defend you in the underlying action.  This can put you in a rather vulnerable position, as the financial ramifications could put a serious damper on your continued professional success, and a loss in the malpractice suit could have long-term consequences for your reputation in your particular industry. It’s critical that you consult a qualified attorney for guidance on how to proceed, so that you can secure that which you are entitled to.  Contact an experienced Miami insurance litigation lawyer here at Ver Ploeg & Marino, P.A., who can help you take action against the insurance company and compel them to follow-through on their obligations under the E&O policy. As you explore the possibility of litigation, it’s worth exploring some of the more common issues faced by policyholders in E&O insurance disputes.  Identifying the issues will enable you and your attorney to develop a solid strategic plan at an early stage. Claim Timing and Reporting Conditions Most E&O policies require that the covered third-party malpractice claim be made during the policy period itself (and some require additional procedural conditions, such as serving notice to the […]

Challenges Facing Policyholders in the Context of Business Interruption Insurance

Thu Oct 31st, 2019 on     Insurance Law,    

Experienced Insurance Law Attorneys in Miami, FL Business Interruption (BI) insurance pays out for losses due to certain covered events, typically large-scale disasters, such as floods and fires.  BI coverage is absolutely critical for businesses operating in disaster-prone states like Florida — even where the risk of a natural or manmade disaster is low, however, comprehensive BI insurance coverage can protect you in the wake of an event that might otherwise have the cumulative effect of shuttering or relocating the business itself. As with all insurance coverage, BI providers are quick to look for “outs” in the policy language (or in the circumstances surrounding the disastrous event) so that they can avoid having to payout, or at the very least, so that they can minimize their expected payout.  This is particularly common in the BI insurance context, however, as the losses tend to be more ambiguous in nature — insurers attempt to gain leverage by underestimating their liabilities whenever possible. Here at Ver Ploeg & Marino, P.A., we have extensive experience handling BI insurance coverage disputes on behalf of policyholders.  We are detail-oriented litigators who invest significant time and attention towards investigating the circumstances central to the coverage dispute, which gives us a significant edge in the BI insurance context (where the determination of a business interruption loss demands a comprehensive assessment of financial records, tax returns, and projected income).  If you’d like to learn more about your case and what the next steps might be, we encourage you to […]

Product Liability Lawsuit FAQs

Mon Sep 30th, 2019 on     Insurance Law,    

Experienced Insurance Litigation Lawyer in Miami, FL If you are operating a business in which you could be sued, or have been sued, for distributing a defective product, then you may be facing significant liability.  In fact, product liability disputes are so disruptive that they can bring business to a standstill if you are unprepared for defending against potentially hundreds of claims. Typically, businesses purchase comprehensive insurance plans that cover their commercial products.  The mere fact that you’ve purchased such a plan is not necessarily a guarantee of real-world coverage, however.  Particularly in cases where the insurer could be exposed to significant costs for handling the defense, the insurer will look for various “outs” to avoid having to engage their duties under the policy.  They may argue that a coverage exclusion applies, for example, or that your policy was not active at the time of the incident. We understand that product liability disputes can be confusing, and as such, we encourage you to contact Ver Ploeg & Marino, P.A. to consult with an experienced Miami insurance litigation lawyer at our firm. Before you speak to one of our attorneys, however, you may have some questions about product liability and insurance denials.  Let’s take a brief look at some common concerns that clients have. Frequently Asked Questions Q: What is the difference between a Claims-Based and an Occurrence-Based policy? Your insurance policy will either be claims-based or occurrence-based, and this could have a significant impact on whether you are eligible for […]

Challenges to the Insurance Industry in 2019

Wed Jul 17th, 2019 on     Insurance Claims,    

Over the past decade there has been an explosion of technological, economic and cultural innovation, dramatically changing how we do business and live our lives. Many of these developments have disrupted the traditional approach to insurance. As a Miami insurance law firm, we stay up-to-date on trends that impact our industry. From the gig economy to driverless cars and the internet of things, insurance companies are racing to find creative, cost-effective solutions that match the innovation of today. Gig Economy Essentially, the “gig economy” is a labor market based on short-term contracts or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs. Current examples include ride-sharing apps, food delivery services, and online marketplaces such as Airbnb and Rover. The underlying principle in the gig or “sharing” economy is that individuals can provide or obtain a paid personal service while operating outside of conventional business regulations and employment law. Because the agreements for these services do not fall exclusively into either the personal or commercial categories, insurance companies have had to determine whether personal liability plans will cover such services. Many insurers have responded to the challenge by excluding quasi-commercial uses from personal policies and replacing them with specific add-on options. For example, in the context of a standard personal auto policy insurance companies are requiring additional commercial coverage to provide protection when driving for a rideshare service.  Driverless Cars While the majority of “autonomous” cars today are still partially under driver control, the challenge for insurers will be the issue of who […]

Understanding Business Interruption Insurance

Fri May 31st, 2019 on     Insurance Claims,    

Many commercial property policies, as well as business owner’s policies (package policy for small businesses, often referred to as a “BOP”), include business interruption coverage.  It is designed to protect your business from a loss in income caused by an insurable event.  As Miami insurance coverage attorneys, we are experienced in helping our clients to maximize their recovery when a fire, hurricane or other disaster causes an interruption in business operations.  There are four important elements of business interruption insurance.  First, it is only triggered in three limited circumstances: Physical damages to the premises of such magnitude that the business must suspend its operations; Physical damage to other property caused by an insurable loss and that prevents customers or employees from gaining access to the business; or The government shuts down in an area due to property damage caused by an insurable event that prevents customers or employees from gaining access to the business. Most Policies Have a Waiting Period A second critical element is that even after a covered event occurs, most policies have a waiting period of several days before business interruption kicks in.  Once it does, coverage will not be retroactive to the day of the event. Business Interruption Coverage is Limited Third, after the waiting period ends, coverage will be provided for lost net income, temporary relocation expenses (designed to reduce overall costs), and ongoing expenses such as payroll that enable businesses to continue paying employees rather than laying them off. Importantly, business interruption coverage is […]

What Does Directors and Officers Liability Insurance Cover?

Fri May 24th, 2019 on     FAQs,    

Directors and officers liability insurance, often referred to as “D&O” insurance, is designed to protect the personal assets of the company’s leaders and comes into play if they are personally sued for actions taken on behalf of the company.  As Miami insurance law attorneys, we are experienced in representing our clients in Directors and Officers Liability Insurance Disputes.  Company leaders can be sued for a variety of reasons ranging from allegations of financial mismanagement to negligent business decisions, and are frequent targets when shareholders, customers, vendors, suppliers, employees, creditors and other parties are displeased with the company’s actions. Individual Director and Officer Coverage and Corporate Entity Coverage A typical D&O policy includes several elements (referred to as “sides”).  Side A protects a corporation’s directors and officers for loss arising from claims against them when the company cannot indemnify them.  Side B reimburses the company when it indemnifies the individuals.  Side C, also known as “entity coverage,” eliminates disputes over coverage allocation when both the directors and officers and the insured organization are named as co-defendants in a securities lawsuit. Claims That May Target Company Leadership Business leaders can be held responsible for a company’s failure to comply with regulations and to provide a safe and secure workplace.  Additionally, if a company is found liable for losses because of operational failure and mismanagement, directors and officers may be exposed to liability as well.  Types of claims include: Shareholder suits over company or stock performance; Creditor or investor suits over mismanagement or […]

What You Need to Know About Cyber Insurance

Fri Apr 12th, 2019 on     Insurance Law,    

The potential impact of technology on the business of insurance cannot be overstated. Although “InsurTech” is relatively new, the sector has drawn significant attention from investors, as well as from established insurers, who are beginning to change their service models.  In response to changing consumer habits, especially for tech-savvy millennials, new innovations are emerging every day, with the goal of offering simpler products tailored to specific needs and a streamlined customer experience.  As Miami insurance law attorneys, we are following the InsurTech explosion with interest, both for its potential benefits to policyholders, as well as for the resulting industry disruption. What is InsurTech? The term “InsurTech” encompasses the innovative use of technology in insurance.  It is a subset of financial technology, or “FinTech,” which has transformed the banking world.  InsurTech is the technology that lies behind the creation, distribution and administration of insurance.  Smartphone apps, wearables, claims processing tools, online policy handling and automated processing are all InsurTech.  Much of the current InsurTech market involves start-ups targeting millennials, who are accustomed to instant gratification, by focusing on speed, efficiency, and cost reduction.  Examples include: Lemonade, whose motto is “instant everything,” Slice (“instant coverage for all”), and Hippo (“modern home insurance”). The success of these and other start-ups also relies on the demand for greater customization of insurance products, as well as the prevalence of the sharing economy.  For example, Airbnb hosts have created the need for limited commercial coverage, as opposed to a comprehensive commercial policy.  Pay-per-mile automobile insurance caters […]

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