Insurance Broker Liability to Policyholders for Denied Claims: Latest Case Law Developments

  • Organizer: Strafford
  • Date: May 13, 2015

Robert D. Chesler to speak at the Strafford Live Webinar on ‘Insurance Broker Liability to Policyholders for Denied Claims: Latest Case Law Developments’ on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

A broker’s duty generally has been somewhat limited to serving as an independent intermediary to assist clients with securing certain insurance coverage requested by the client. As corporate insurance programs grow in complexity, however, brokers have taken on more specialized roles providing risk management services. Accordingly, the nature and scope of a broker’s duties can be at issue when an insurer denies a claim, and the policyholder looks to its broker for coverage shortfalls.

Recent case law reflects the rapidly evolving landscape of broker obligations. Two recent New Jersey cases provided guidance to brokers regarding the scope of their obligations to policyholders. A recent New York case examined the circumstances that would give rise to a “special relationship” between a broker and its client. Other state courts examining broker liability in 2014 include California, Texas, Illinois and Kansas.

Our panel will provide policyholder and insurer counsel with an examination of the evolving duties and standards that insurance brokers owe to policyholder clients. The panel will review claims against brokers in coverage disputes and recent court decisions expanding a broker’s duties in certain circumstances. The panel will outline scenarios in which broker issues arise and best practices for brokers, insurance companies, and policyholders to follow in navigating potential liability issues.

Some of the topics to be discussed are:

  • Who is a broker/agent, and do brokers have dual agency obligations to both insurers and policyholders?
  • What is the scope of a broker’s duties and obligations?
  • What scenarios have resulted in expanded broker obligations?
  • What are the appropriate measures of damages for policyholders bringing broker liability claims?
  • What are common pitfalls facing brokers, and what steps can they take to minimize liability?

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