“2020 is just this unusual year,” said Goldberg Segalla’s Peter J. Biging as a panel moderator at the 2020 virtual Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) conference. “It’s really a crazy era and it seems like it’s going to get worse.” The panelists warned that while E&O claims from the 2020 pandemic have not happened yet in noticeable numbers, they will, just as they happen following major storms or other disasters.
Peter, co-chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Management and Professional Liability practice, said that a disaster event that results in numerous and severe claims signals potential trouble for agents and brokers.
“It tests the limits, terms and conditions, and policies to the extent that there’s either no coverage or there’s insufficient coverage,” he said. “There’s going to be agent and broker errors and omissions claims.”
Peter also noted that there are operational issues due to the pandemic that could influence communication with clients, many of whom may need to cut costs or may want something different than they previously had.
“You’ve got brokers who typically would have their insureds into their office and see them visually sign the application and that’s not going to happen, or it’s not happening,” he said. “You have situations where brokers will go to visit locations as they normally would and eyeball the circumstances that might’ve changed, and they’re not necessarily doing that now.”
“2020 Could Make 2021 the Year of Insurance Agency E&O Lawsuits,” Insurance Journal, January 21, 2021
Peter J. Biging is an accomplished trial and appellate attorney with more than 30 years of experience as a litigator in the state and federal courts of New York. As co-chair of the firm’s nationwide Management and Professional Liability practice group, Peter counsels and defends directors and officers against claims alleging fraud, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duties, and a variety of professionals against claims based on alleged errors and omissions (E&O) in the performance of their professional services. He also regularly litigates labor and employment practices liability claims, commercial disputes, and municipal liability claims premised on alleged civil and constitutional violations.