Between the Lines

A Discussion of Case Law and Statutory Law Affecting Commercial Lines of Insurance

Recent Posts

Posted In: Professional Liability

Professional Liability Insurer has Duty to Defend Suit Over Law Firm Split Where the Allegations Encompass Professional Obligations as well as Business Decisions.

Professional liability coverage disputes often turn on the question whether the alleged conduct constitutes “professional services,” or business activities of a non-professional nature.  So, for example, filing a client’s complaint…

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Posted In: Uncategorized

Broker Liability in the Forefront

When an insurer refuses to pay, the next place an insured frequently looks to cover a loss is to its broker. The Massachusetts courts have recently opined on when this…

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Posted In: Policy Construction

Contractual Limitations Period in Life Insurance Policy Bars Contract-Based Claims, But Not Tort-Based Claims

Court Holds That Deceit, Negligence and Tort-Based Consumer Protection Claims Are Not Time-Barred  Among the many reasons to read your insurance policy carefully is that it, like other contracts, may…

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Posted In: Additional Insureds

Got Additional Insured Coverage? Not If You Don’t Say the Magic Word.

Where a Lease Did Not Require the Additional Insured Coverage in the Lessee’s Policy To Be Primary, the Additional Insured Coverage Is Excess Over The Lessor’s Own Fronting Policy. Businesses…

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Posted In: Claims Handling and Settlement

Finding of Unfair Claim Settlement Practices and Treble Damage Award Reversed by Massachusetts Appeals Court

Insurer Reasonably Disputed Claim of Neurological Injuries From Auto Accident. The arbitration award in the auto accident case that gave rise to this claim for unfair claim settlement practices was…

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Posted In: Property Coverage

Sorry, Your Property Policy Doesn’t Cover Removal of Snow From Your Roof

Court Rejects Policyholder’s Argument That Coverage For “Risks of Direct Physical Loss or Damage” Includes Preventive Measures.  Typical commercial property policies state that the policy covers “risks of direct physical…

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Posted In: Employment Claims, Uncategorized

Don’t Lose Your Employment Practices Liability Insurance.

Coverage May Depend on Disclosure of Prior Claims in the Policy Application, and Timely Notice of Claims During the Policy Period.  Employment practices liability (EPL) insurance may provide coverage for…

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Posted In: Duty to Defend, Duty to Settle

Massachusetts Appeals Court Addresses Insurer’s Duty to Appeal and Right to Settle

Holding:  Insurer’s Good Faith Settlement After Filing Notice Of Appeal Is Not A Defense to Policyholder’s Liability For Retrospective Premium.  Under a typical general liability policy the insurer has a…

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Posted In: Property Coverage

Is there Coverage for a Marijuana Business Under a Commercial Property Policy?

A Carrier Who Knowingly Insures A Marijuana Business Probably Can’t Rely On An Illegal Acts Exclusion, But The Exclusion Bars Coverage For A Landlord Whose Tenants Surreptitiously Grew Marijuana.   …

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Posted In: Excess Insurance, Other Insurance

Primary Policy with Excess “Other Insurance” Clause and “True Excess” Policy Cover Same Level of Risk Based on Policy Language

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Declines To Look Beyond Plain Language Of Policy To Consider Evidence Of Intent.  In Great Divide Ins. Co. v. Lexington Ins. Co., _ Mass. _ (2017),…

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