In interviews with Best’s Review and AM Best TV, Partner Jeffrey Schulman examined the growing trend in using both homeowners and personal excess liability insurance to cover claims in sexual misconduct lawsuits. He explained that homeowners policies often cover personal injuries, which can include libel, slander and defamation, among other things.
“Accusations of wrongdoing against public figures are often responded to with denials, and a denial of those types of allegations is arguably a challenge to the credibility and truthfulness of the accuser, and maybe their motivations for making the allegations,” Schulman said. “In some instances, denying these allegations has given rise to alleged damages claiming defamation, slander or libel.”
Schulman also addressed the recent Peloton recall after its treadmill was linked to injuries and the death of a child, and expounded on the types of insurance policies that are triggered to cover the substantial costs.
“In those situations you have people claiming physical injuries, emotional injuries, alleging company mismanagement and reduced consumer confidence. The good part is there’s coverage available for all of that – general liability policies provide fair party coverage for allegations of bodily injury; D&O policies cover directors and officers and the company for alleged wrongful acts. And although it’s more specialized coverage and not frequently purchased, there is also crisis management coverage available in the industry,” Schulman commented. “In the case of Peloton, they also likely have product recall insurance which is intended to cover liabilities associated with having to remove their product from the marketplace, which they offered to do.”
As a policyholder advocate, Schulman went on to illustrate how insurers and insureds should be a united effort in the instance of insurance litigation, and work together to resolve a suit and minimizing the amount it costs to defend.
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View Schulman’s full Best’s Review and AM Best TV interviews here.