Federal Judge Refuses to Limit Coverage and Moves Forward with Policyholder’s Claims Against Insurer and Broker

Businessman holding scale of justice

This decision serves as a reminder to policyholders to carefully review any policy revisions proposed by an insurer or broker.

December 7, 2020
Michael S. Levine & Casey L. Coffey - Hunton Insurance Recovery Blog

On November 10, 2020, a New York federal judge dismissed an insurer’s counterclaims seeking to cap its exposure under a $15 million sublimit and an order estopping the policyholder from pursuing any additional amounts.

In February 2017, Plaintiff Pilkington North America, Inc. (Pilkington), suffered between $60 and $100 million in damage from a tornado that struck its glass manufacturing factory in Illinois. Pilkington sought coverage for its loss under a commercial property and business interruption policy issued by Defendant Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company (MSI). Pilkington also claimed its insurance broker, Aon Risk Services Central, Inc. (Aon), is liable for faulty advice provided while brokering the policy. Aon’s negligence allegedly gave way to MSI’s fraudulent revision of the insurance policy, which caused the losses from the tornado to not be fully compensable.

Pilkington’s fraud and faulty brokering claims stem from MSI’s revision of an endorsement contained in the policy. The revision changed the wording of a windstorm sublimit. Allegedly, Aon was informed by MSI of the changes and failed to inform Pilkington that the revision would substantially reduce coverage for windstorms, including tornados.

Mr. Levine may be contacted at mlevine@HuntonAK.com


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