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Full-Text Articles in Law

Insuring Floods: The Most Common And Devastating Natural Catastrophies In America, Christopher French Feb 2015

Insuring Floods: The Most Common And Devastating Natural Catastrophies In America, Christopher French

Christopher C. French

Flooding is the most common natural catastrophe Americans face, accounting for 90% of all damage caused by natural catastrophes. Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, for example, collectively caused over $160 billion in damage, but only approximately 10% of the Hurricane Katrina victims and 50% of the Hurricane Sandy victims had insurance to cover their flood losses. Consequently, both their homes and lives were left in ruins in the wake of the storms. Nationwide, only approximately 7% of homeowners have insurance that covers flood losses even though the risk of flooding is only increasing as coastal areas continue to be developed and ...


The Role Of The Profit Imperative In Risk Management, Christopher French Dec 2014

The Role Of The Profit Imperative In Risk Management, Christopher French

Christopher C. French

Risks in the world abound.  Every day there is a chance that each of us could be in a car accident.  Or, one of us could be the victim of a tornado, flood or earthquake.  Every day someone becomes deathly ill from an insidious disease.  Our properties are in constant peril—one’s house could catch fire at any time or a tree could fall on it during a storm.  Any one of these events could have devastating financial consequences, and they are just a few of the many risks that impact our daily lives.  One of the principal ways ...


The Aftermath Of Catastrophes: Valuing Business Interruption Insurance Losses, Chris French Dec 2013

The Aftermath Of Catastrophes: Valuing Business Interruption Insurance Losses, Chris French

Christopher C. French

With the onslaught of tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods in recent years, business interruption losses have been staggering. Many businesses do not survive such catastrophes. Even business owners that purchased business interruption insurance, which is intended to ensure that a business’s revenue stream continues during an interruption in its operations, often find that their insurers have dramatically different views regarding the amount of the losses that should be reimbursed. The reason for this disparity in views is that the loss valuation provisions in business interruption insurance policies provide very little guidance regarding how business interruption losses should be calculated. Thus ...


Segmented Settlements Are Not The Answer: A Response To Professor Squire’S Article, How Collective Settlements Camouflage The Costs Of Shareholder Lawsuits, Christopher C. French Dec 2012

Segmented Settlements Are Not The Answer: A Response To Professor Squire’S Article, How Collective Settlements Camouflage The Costs Of Shareholder Lawsuits, Christopher C. French

Christopher C. French

In his recent article, Professor Richard Squire offers a provocative theory in which he claims the underlying claimants in shareholder litigation against corporate policyholders are overcompensated due to what he describes as “cramdown” settlements, under which insurers are forced to settle due to the “duty to contribute” that arises under multi-layered directors and officers (“D&O”) insurance programs. He also offers a novel idea regarding how this problem could be fixed by what he refers to as “segmented” settlements in which each insurer and the policyholder would be allowed to settle separately and consider only its own interests in doing ...


The “Ensuing Loss” Clause In Insurance Policies: The Forgotten And Misunderstood Antidote To Anti-Concurrent Causation Exclusions, Chris French Dec 2011

The “Ensuing Loss” Clause In Insurance Policies: The Forgotten And Misunderstood Antidote To Anti-Concurrent Causation Exclusions, Chris French

Christopher C. French

As a result of the 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco which destroyed the city, a clause known as the “ensuing loss” clause was created to address concurrent causation situations in which a loss follows both a covered peril and an excluded peril. Ensuing loss clauses appear in the exclusions section of such policies and in essence they provide that coverage for a loss caused by an excluded peril is nonetheless covered if the loss “ensues” from a covered peril. Today, ensuing loss clauses are found in “all risk” property and homeowners policies, which cover all losses except for ...


Debunking The Myth That Insurance Coverage Is Not Available Or Allowed For Intentional Torts Or Damages, Christopher French Dec 2011

Debunking The Myth That Insurance Coverage Is Not Available Or Allowed For Intentional Torts Or Damages, Christopher French

Christopher C. French

Over the years, a myth has developed that insurance coverage is not available or allowed for intentional injuries or damage. This myth has two primary bases: one, the “fortuity” doctrine, which provides that insurance should only cover losses that happen by chance; and two, public policy, which allegedly disfavors allowing insurance for intentional injuries or damage. This article dispels that myth. Many types of liability insurance policies expressly cover intentional torts including trademark infringement, copyright infringement, invasion of privacy, defamation, disparagement, and improper employment practices such as discrimination. In addition, punitive damages, which typically are awarded for intentional misconduct, are ...


The “Non-Cumulation Clause”: An “Other Insurance” Clause By Another Name, Chris French Dec 2011

The “Non-Cumulation Clause”: An “Other Insurance” Clause By Another Name, Chris French

Christopher C. French

How long-tail liability claims such as asbestos bodily injury claims and environmental property damage claims are allocated among multiple triggered policy years can result in the shifting of tens or hundreds of millions of dollars from one party to another. In recent years, insurers have argued that clauses commonly titled, “Prior Insurance and Non-Cumulation of Liability” (referred to herein as “Non-Cumulation Clauses”), which are found in commercial liability policies, should be applied to reduce or eliminate their coverage responsibilities for long-tail liability claims by shifting their coverage responsibilities to insurers that issued policies in earlier policy years. The insurers’ argument ...


Construction Defects: Are They “Occurrences”?, Chris French Dec 2010

Construction Defects: Are They “Occurrences”?, Chris French

Christopher C. French

An issue in the area of insurance law that has been litigated frequently in recent years is whether construction defects are “occurrences” under Commercial General Liability (“CGL”) insurance policies. The courts have been divided in deciding the issue and in their approaches to analyzing the issue. This article addresses how the issue should be analyzed and concludes that construction defects are “occurrences”.

The relevant rules of insurance policy interpretation dictate that construction defects are “occurrences”. Policy language should be interpreted in such a way as to fulfill the reasonable expectations of the policyholder when the policy is construed as a ...