Amy Bach is the Managing Director of United Policyholders. Last week I had breakfast with her at the world-famous Sears Fine Food restaurant in San Francisco's Union Square. We discussed a number of projects United Policyholders are involved in, including the Covid Loss Recovery Initiative and the Amicus Curiae Project. A " amicus curiae " description is often referred to as a "friend of the court" instruction provided by a non-party to a lawsuit. This is part of what United policyholders are saying about their ongoing Amicus Curiae project:
As a non-party with a broad perspective and national direct contact with real insurance transactions, UP helps focus the courts' attention on the major issues at stake. No merited case is too big or too small for the UP Amicus project.
United policyholders have so far submitted over 300 amicus briefs in a large number of important cases affecting policyholders 'rights and insurers' obligations. UP's arguments have been explicitly and implicitly adopted by the US Supreme Court and many other courts. Many courts have specifically asked UP to summarize certified issues such as amicus curiae. When appropriate, UP is a partner with industry organizations, government agencies and other non-profit organizations. Examples are AARP, the Consumer Federation of America, the National Electrical Manufacturer & # 39 ;s Association, the American Institute of Architects and the California Industry Association. the "replacement" of the covered dwelling should cover legally necessary (building code) upgrades. It was written by Amy Bach, who led the UP Amicus project as a volunteer for 13 years before becoming the organization's full-time director. She continues to manage the project today with the help of a corps of experienced and committed policyholders who advocate for volunteers.
All United policyholders' amicus curiae summaries are prepared and filed by experienced attorneys specializing in insurance and / or appeals law. Volunteers and advisers to United Policyholders have prepared and submitted pro bono 99% of the organization's summary.
Disputes over lost revenue coverage against Covid have been raised in cases throughout the country. One of the best summaries of this national legal controversy that I have read was recently written by Reed Smith's attorneys on behalf of United policyholders. 1 The content of the summary makes great points. I suggest readers of this blog take a few minutes to read this excellent legal work. The contents of the summary are:
The insurance industry has known for sixty years that courts ruled that its language in standard form covered losses such as those relevant here
A. Contrary to what the insurance industry parties argue for, the entire purpose of business income insurance should cover a policyholder's business.
B. For more than sixty years, policyholders, courts, insurance policy organizations and insurance companies stated that standard property insurance policies covered losses from events that left property unsuitable for its intended use
1. From 1957 to 2000, the courts repeatedly held that policyholders were entitled to claim that events which rendered property unsuitable or unsafe for their intended use caused physical loss or damage
2. In the early 2000s, the insurance industry paid out claims from SARS-CoV-1.
3. The insurance industry's draft organizations paid close attention to the development of case law in this area
4. As a result of their careful scrutiny of the common law and the insurance industry's losses payments from SARS-CoV-1, ISO and AAIS created the exclusion of viruses or bacteria.
5. From 2007 to 2018, the courts repeatedly concluded that policyholders were entitled to claim that events that rendered property unsuitable or unsafe for their intended use caused physical loss or damage
6. Insurance companies confirmed the majority rule that events that make property unsuitable for its intended use cause physical loss or damage
7. The failure of the insurance industry to develop a specific language to achieve the ultimate goal they seek here – such as the twenty wording of the insurance industry parties in their summary to this court – must have consequences.
8. Since the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, insurance companies have developed additional exemptions to deal with loss from infusion of property with virus
C. In evaluating the "basic purpose" and "history" of standard language language, the key point is that for sixty years the insurance industry has known that its language can be kept to cover loss or damage from viruses, but did not change the language; Rather, it drafted only a virus exception
III. The summaries of the insurance industry parties well demonstrate the strategy of the insurance industry – cite the same dubious sources over and over again and declare victory.
IV. The court should not be affected by self-service warnings about ruining the insurance industry-insurers make these claims after every disaster, and they are always exaggerated
I know many people are beginning to believe that only a few of these cases will ever result in a recovery. I would suggest that the chance of winning is much better with the kind of logic and argument raised in this excellent summary. Anyone with a Covid case should consider incorporating these arguments into their case.
Thought For The Day
It's not over until it's over.
1 Neuro-Communication Services v. Cincinnati Ins. Co. No. 2021-0130, Summary of Amicus Curiae (Ohio 2021).