Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The new Federal Insurance Office has issued its first annual report

As an attorney practicing on the ground in insurance coverage issues, I didn't find much of interest.  It is a combination of too specific (wind speed of Hurricane Sandy) and too general ("insurers and reinsurers may try to modify business models to reduce exposure to certain catastrophic risks," but no discussion of what those modifications may be  or if the government should take any position with respect to such modifications) to be of much help.

You can see the report here

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

US District Court stays bad faith claim until after reference proceeding

As I wrote about here, as required by statute Massachusetts homeowners policies require that a dispute about the value of first-party property damages go to an arbitration called a reference procedure.

In Santos v. Preferred Mut. Ins. Co., __ F. Supp. 2d __, 2013 WL 1633107 (D. Mass.), the plaintiff insured filed suit over damages as well as bad faith practices prior to a reference procedure. 

The insurer argued that summary judgment should enter for it on all counts due to the failure to begin with a reference procedure even though the reference procedure would not determine the bad faith counts.  The court took a much more reasonable approach, holding that the case should be stayed until after a reference proceeding.