Insurers may not use a war exclusion to deny coverage to Merck & Co. for a 2017 cyberattack blamed on the Russian military, a panel of the New Jersey Appellate Division ruled. In an interview with Insurance Journal, Partner Peter Halprin said the decision shows insurers have a duty to draft clear and unambiguous exclusions, and courts will not rewrite exclusionary language.
“The Court reiterated key insurance policy interpretation principles, including the importance of all risk coverage, the breadth of coverage provisions, and the narrow construction of exclusionary language,” Halprin added.
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Halprin represents commercial policyholders in complex insurance coverage matters with an increasing focus on recovery strategies in relation to cyber breaches and cybercrime. He has helped clients pursue insurance coverage for business e-mail compromise schemes, cybercrimes, data breaches, fraudulent e-mails, invoice manipulation schemes, phishing and whaling attacks, ransomware attacks, privacy and statutory liability, and technology E&O disputes.