Florida may be experiencing one of the most significant influxes of new residents, but its also experiencing a mass departure - of insurance companies. Homeowners and property owners alike are receiving cancellation notices from their insurance carriers with no real warning. It's not just a few policies here and there either. Some insurance carriers are pulling out of the state of Florida entirely. Similar to when California wildfires led insurance carriers to flee, residents and businesses are scrambling to secure coverage for their property. But unlike in California, there has been no regulation put in place to stop insurance carriers from pulling out. Now, Florida property owners are at risk of losing coverage during high-risk times and seek new ways to protect their assets amidst the carrier cancellations.
Every business has insurance, and most would consider it a positive investment. In some instances insurance is required by law, but in many cases, businesses choose to purchase a plan for their own safety. Whether it be a home, car, or professional plan- insurance provides businesses protection in the event of a catastrophic or unforeseen loss. Of course, most never assume they will experience a significant loss that requires them to use their insurance. In reality, 40% of small businesses file an insurance claim of some kind and 75% of businesses are underinsured to some degree.
This past year a record number of Americans quit their jobs. This labor phenomenon referred to as The Great Resignation involves more than 47 million workers quitting their jobs voluntarily, with more expected to continue the trend. Though reasons for leaving differed, most workers reported their main driving factor for quitting was low pay, poor benefits, and poor company culture. What many don’t consider when leaving a job is the health insurance they may be leaving behind. If you lose the health insurance that was being supplied through your company, there are a few options to purchase your own plan. Understanding your options for health insurance can help you avoid marketplace confusion or risking having no coverage.
With vaccinations up and cases mostly on a downward trend, one might think the threat of Covid is coming to an end. While in some ways it is, in others ways-its holding strong. The pandemic has introduced a precarious situation of having to put the blame for a spreading infection onto a specific party as people seek financial compensation for losses incurred due to Covid-19. And as businesses continue to face fines and legal obligations into 2022, it's important to be aware of professional responsibility in regards to the pandemic, as well steps one can take to protect themselves and their employees.
The insurance industry is still doing what it can to react to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means situations are changing rapidly within certain sectors of the insurance marketplace. 2020 was already projecting to be a difficult year for insurance markets prior to COVID-19, with property and auto insurance rates seeing significant increases and many carriers reducing capacity in coverage areas like directors and officers liability insurance. The pandemic has only accelerated some of these movements.
As COVID-19 sweeps through the country and does incredible damage to the health and well-being of many Americans, the virus has also caused significant economic damage. With so many cities and states issuing lockdowns, quarantines, and stay-at-home orders, many businesses have had to completely change the way they operate in a matter of weeks. Some have had to shut down completely.
Companies without cyber insurance can find themselves in difficult situations. As more and more vital business functions migrate to electronic systems, companies without cyber insurance have to try and find coverage for any damage to their systems through traditional insurance policies. That approach can work depending on the specifics of a policy and a claim, but it might lead to additional legal costs fighting with the insurance company.
While the world steps through the global pandemic, we know our clients are facing the same questions, concerns, and decisions that we are grappling with. The collective safety of our employees, families, clients, and your business interests weigh heavily on everyone’s mind. Disaster planning can only take you so far when experiencing anything of this magnitude.
How does insurance play into the events unfolding? Insurance policies address coverage in general terms. The specific circumstances around each loss or situation will determine whether or not coverage applies. However, in general terms, we’d like to share an overview of the potential claims issues in various lines of coverage and how those policies might respond.
Given the relative newness of cyber insurance policies, comparatively little case law exists interpreting these policies in the context of claims. Courts have sometimes struggled with how to interpret unique policy provisions in the context of variations of computer fraud. While some courts have taken highly technical approaches to the language contained in the policy, other courts have taken a more relaxed approach based on the understanding of the parties. A recent case out of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals highlights these issues. Principle Solutions Group, LLC v. Ironhorse Indemnity, Inc. tackled a claim dispute between an insured business and an insurance company involving a cyber claim.
Claims made insurance coverage can create some confusing issues. A claims made policy covers claims that are made against the policy during the period of the policy’s effective dates. This is in distinction to an occurrence policy, which covers claims based on the policy in effect when the incident giving rise to the claim occurred.