After more than a year of pandemic insurance litigation, nearly 1,900 lawsuits have been filed, and courts have issued more than 400 decisions on dispositive motions. In an article for Law360, Partner Peter A. Halprin examines questions emerging from these cases, including what risk management professionals and in-house counsel should take away from the litigation and the pandemic.
When considering the value of the insurer-insured relationships, Halpin wrote, “The policyholders who thought they had good relationships with their insurers have received a rude awakening. The current environment has laid bare the limitations on the importance of the insurer-insured relationship when insurers are facing numerous claims.”
Halprin also cautioned policyholders that creating a risk management plan on the assumption of government intervention may be foolhardy. “Although we had a number of COVID-19 relief bills, legislation like the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act focused on keeping workers employed, not compensating businesses for their business income losses,” he wrote. “Some realism needs to be injected into the view of what government can and will do to support businesses in times of crisis.”
In light of the extensive litigation taking place throughout the country, Halprin further advised insureds to think about what dispute resolution mechanism they would like to use to resolve any disputes that may arise under a policy. “Policyholders often don’t think about their available options — including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, litigation and endless permutations of these — while negotiating a policy. Assuming what is desired is something other than whatever the insurer presents, the policyholder should push for the desired alternative dispute resolution mechanism to be included in its policy,” Halprin added.
Read the full article at Law360 [LINK]. (Subscription required)