trending Market Intelligence /marketintelligence/en/news-insights/trending/tJb_oxoAwPA3_jt5Ta2T-A2 content
Log in to other products

Login to Market Intelligence Platform


Looking for more?

Contact Us

Request a Demo

You're one step closer to unlocking our suite of comprehensive and robust tools.

Fill out the form so we can connect you to the right person.

If your company has a current subscription with S&P Global Market Intelligence, you can register as a new user for access to the platform(s) covered by your license at Market Intelligence platform or S&P Capital IQ.

  • First Name*
  • Last Name*
  • Business Email *
  • Phone *
  • Company Name *
  • City *
  • We generated a verification code for you

  • Enter verification Code here*

* Required

Thank you for your interest in S&P Global Market Intelligence! We noticed you've identified yourself as a student. Through existing partnerships with academic institutions around the globe, it's likely you already have access to our resources. Please contact your professors, library, or administrative staff to receive your student login.

At this time we are unable to offer free trials or product demonstrations directly to students. If you discover that our solutions are not available to you, we encourage you to advocate at your university for a best-in-class learning experience that will help you long after you've completed your degree. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

In This List

High-net-worth insurer sues to recover monies paid in Alan Dershowitz defamation settlement

Infrastructure Issues: Tools to Dig Deep on Potential Risks

Part Two IFRS 9 Blog Series: The Need to Upgrade Analytical Tools

2018 US Property Casualty Insurance Market Report


Fintech Funding Flows To Insurtech In February

High-net-worth insurer sues to recover monies paid in Alan Dershowitz defamation settlement

is suing a unit of Hanover Insurance Group Inc. over whether both of thecompanies' policies should share primary status in connection with ahigh-profile settlement of defamation claims entered in April by AlanDershowitz.

Thewell-known attorney and law professor had been accused of defamation inconnection with public statements he made in response to allegations that heand certain other prominent men had performed sexual acts with a woman who hadbeen pursuing civil charges against former high-net-worth investment adviserJeffrey Epstein, a Dershowitz client, when she was a minor. The woman'sattorneys, Bradley Edwards and Paul Cassell, accused Dershowitz of defamingthem as part of an alleged "massive public media assault" on theirreputation and character.

Termsof the settlement, in which Edwards and Cassell expressly acknowledged that ithad been a mistake to have brought the sexual misconduct claims againstDershowitz, were confidential. White Plains, N.Y.-based PURE, Hanover and athird insurance company not named in the complaint purportedly provided unspecifiedamounts of defense and indemnity payments in connection with the settlement.

PURE,which focuses on high-net-worth personal lines business, issued a high-valuehomeowners policy to Dershowitz for a 12-month policy period ending Sept. 1,2015. The policy offered per-occurrence liability coverage with a $500,000limit.

Accordingto a court exhibit, Hanover's Massachusetts Bay Insurance Co. allegedly issued abusiness owners policy to Dershowitz for a 12-month period ended April 9, thatprovided business liability coverage of $1 million per occurrence up to a $2million aggregate limit.

PURE'soutside legal counsel notified Hanover of the company's coverage position andintent to recover the alleged damages it suffered in letters dated May 24 andJuly 6. The letters, each of which threatened litigation, insisted that"it is clear" that the Hanover policy was "expresslyprimary" with respect to the Dershowitz matter and that PURE's policy wasexcess in nature.

Thesecond letter referenced an alleged voicemail message in which a Hanoverrepresentative purportedly indicated that there had not been a reservation ofrights regarding the issue and that Hanover does not believe Florida recognizesa right of contribution between insurers.

AHanover spokeswoman declined to comment.

PUREresponded to the position by arguing that it had not received a copy of thebusiness owners policy until just over one month prior to the date that thesettlement was reached and that the insurer "did not have the opportunityto assert this issue until the case was almost settled." The companyargued that doing so at a "sensitive time risked upending a difficultsettlement in a controversial, high profile case in a manner contrary to ourinsured's interests."

RegardingHanover's assertion of the Florida uniform contribution statute, PURE agreedthat the state law does not recognize a right of contribution — but onlybetween co-primary insurers, not in instances where there are multiple layersof coverage. PURE's legal counsel pointed to a federal court's opinion in a2006 Florida dispute between units of American International Group Inc. and to support thecompany's position.

"Unlikethe right of contribution which typically applies to permit an allocation ofloss between co-primary insurers or obligors, the right of equitablesubrogation allows the entire loss to shift, typically from an excess carrierto a primary one," the U.S. District Court for the Southern District ofFlorida found in that case. PURE filed its complaint in the same court.

Apparentreferences in the letters to the amount PURE contributed to the settlement wereredacted and, in PURE's claim for equitable subrogation, it is seekingreimbursement of that amount as well as recovery of costs associated withpursuing the matter against Hanover.