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Risk and Recovery: Legal Insights for the Insured

Nathan Lander

Nathan Lander Nathan Lander is a senior counsel in the Insurance Recovery & Counseling Group. He has more than a decade of experience in counseling business policyholders and representing them in coverage disputes with their insurance carriers. Nate’s extensive experience enables him to guide clients through the lifetime of their insurance needs — from counseling them regarding obtaining insurance in the first instance to zealously representing them in recovering when a claim arises. Nate’s insurance recovery practice is national in scope. He has represented policyholders in coverage litigations in more than a dozen states, and helped policyholders recover more than a billion dollars from their insurers. Nate frequently advises clients on risk management issues, including structuring of insurance programs and the negotiation and drafting of policy language. He has advised hedge funds, private equity firms and other corporate clients with respect to their obtaining of directors and officers and errors and omissions coverage.

Posts by Nathan Lander

Policyholder Warning: What One Provision Giveth (Defense Costs), Another Provision May Taketh Away

Posted in Commercial General Liability (CGL), Professional Liability

Professional liability insurance policyholders often breathe a sigh of relief when their insurer begins funding the costs of defending against a civil claim or government investigation. That is one of the reasons they bought the insurance in the first place! However, as one policyholder recently learned, just because the insurer advances defense costs doesn’t mean… Continue Reading

More “Texas Justice” For Policyholder On Contractual Liability Exclusion

Posted in Commercial General Liability (CGL)

On October 29, the Fifth Circuit reversed itself for the second time this year in a case involving the interpretation of a contractual liability exclusion in a CGL policy.  This recent decision by the Fifth Circuit in Crownover v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., coupled with decisions from the Texas Supreme Court and Fifth Circuit earlier this… Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Court Recognizes That A Payment Required By Law Is Not A “Voluntary Payment” Requiring The Insurer’s Consent

Posted in Commercial General Liability (CGL)

If you are required by law to perform an act, the act is not “voluntary.”  This proposition may seem obvious enough to most, but one insurer recently needed to be reminded of this common sense point by a Pennsylvania federal court in First Commonwealth Bank v. St. Paul Mercury Insurance Company.  There, the Court held… Continue Reading

Calling a Letter a “Reservation of Rights” Does Not Necessarily Make It So

Posted in Claims Management

Many insurers are in the habit of sending perfunctory “reservation of rights” letters to their insureds throughout the lifetime of a claim.  The reason they do so is not a very well-guarded secret in the insurance industry.  An insurer that acknowledges coverage must pay any eventual settlement or judgment, while an insurer that denies coverage… Continue Reading

New York’s High Court Finds Contractual Limitation Period Unenforceable, Where it Places Policyholder in Impossible Catch-22 Situation

Posted in Claims Management

How is a policyholder supposed to obtain coverage under a policy that requires the insured to bring its claim within two years of the loss and also imposes preconditions on bringing a claim that cannot reasonably be satisfied within two years?  Recognizing the fundamental unfairness of such inconsistent policy provisions, the New York Court of… Continue Reading

New York’s High Court Holds That An Insurer’s Delay in Disclaiming Coverage Could Be Excused When The Delay Resulted From Unsuccessful Attempts To Secure The Policyholder’s Cooperation

Posted in Denial of Coverage

Until recently, New York’s Insurance Law presented something of a dilemma for insurance companies concerning how quickly they were required to inform their policyholders that they were denying coverage for a claim.  On the one hand, the law requires insurers to inform them “as soon as is reasonably possible” when disclaiming coverage for certain types… Continue Reading

Policyholders Beware: New York Court Finds Policyholder Forfeited Excess Coverage By Settling With Underlying Carriers For Less Than Full Limits

Posted in Excess Coverage

Many excess insurance policies provide that coverage is not available unless all underlying insurers have first paid the full limits of their policies. Relying on such language, excess insurers argue that when a policyholder settles a claim with an underlying insurer for less than the full limits of their policy, the policyholder forfeits any coverage… Continue Reading

New York Court Reaffirms That Grand Jury Subpoenas Constitute “Claims” Under Language Commonly Used In Liability Policies

Posted in Grand Jury Investigation, Organizational Liability

Syracuse University and National Union Fire Insurance Company recently settled a much-watched coverage battle over National Union’s obligation to cover Syracuse’s costs in responding to grand jury subpoenas.  Fortunately for policyholders, National Union’s decision to settle came after Syracuse prevailed in the trial and intermediate appellate courts, yielding a pro-policyholder decision that such subpoenas fall… Continue Reading

Delaware Court Finds That Horizontal Exhaustion Does Not Apply To Excess Policies Under New York Law

Posted in Asbestos, Commercial General Liability (CGL)

Companies facing lawsuits filed by plaintiffs claiming continuous or progressive injuries or property damage, such as environmental damage, construction defects, or asbestosis, often try to maximize their insurance coverage for such claims by looking to all policies in force during the multiple, successive years in which the alleged injuries or damage took place.  A Delaware… Continue Reading

“Public Policy” Arguments for Denying Coverage Limited by New York’s Highest Court

Posted in Uncategorized

It is an unwelcome experience for any policyholder to receive a claim denial letter in which the insurer contends that the language of the policy excludes the claim in question.  Even more frustrating for the policyholder, however, is when the insurer contends that even if the policy language does cover the claim in question, “public… Continue Reading