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“Insurance Agent and Broker E&O 2017: The Year in Review,” PLUS Journal


“Insurance Agent and Broker E&O 2017: The Year in Review,” PLUS Journal

January 2017
Peter J. Biging

In a new article for PLUS Journal, Goldberg Segalla partner Peter Biging reviews the noteworthy insurance agent and broker E&O decisions of 2017 and analyzes their ramifications for insurance professionals, E&O policy providers, and their legal counsel.

Peter, vice chair of the firm’s Professional Liability Practice Group and leader of the group’s operations in the New York City metro area, identifies key rulings on subjects including:

  • When a “special relationship” or “special circumstances” exist sufficient to give rise to a duty to advise
  • The applicability of the “duty to read” in the context of statute of limitations accrual analysis
  • The impact of the insured’s contributory negligence
  • When a negligent misrepresentation claim can properly be stated in the context of a broker failure to advise claim
  • How the courts will analyze proximate causation of defenses

“As in recent years, the decisions in 2017 continue to evidence a trend of courts being more receptive generally to finding bases for identifying a duty to advise,” Peter writes. “[A]t the same time, the cases demonstrate that courts will not blindly accept conclusory allegations of a special relationship … And whether within the realm of the ‘duty to advise’ claim or otherwise, there are numerous viable arguments in the thoughtful lawyer’s arsenal upon which to build strong defenses to the various claims that can typically be brought against a broker when insufficient coverage is available to respond to an insured’s loss.

“As we move deeper into the digital age,” Peter concludes, “with all the risks that are presented by the reduced interaction between human beings on both the broker side and the underwriting side, and we continue to see courts become ever more accepting of the premise that insurance is a complicated field through which the broker is … expected to provide specialized expertise and guidance, it is important to continue to keep a close eye on the trends, and take careful note of the issues and arguments that are driving the case law.”

Read the article: