How to Contribute Content for PLUS

Have you ever wondered how PLUS content gets sourced and developed? PLUS has several volunteer roles that are essential to the development and delivery of content. These roles include:

  • PLUS Symposia Chairs
  • PLUS Content Advisory Committees
  • PLUS Trend Advisors
  • PLUS Editorial Board

You can find more information about these roles here, and you can see the list of current content contributors in these roles on the PLUS website here.

Ideas generated by these roles as well as the Request for Proposal (RFP) process for National Events allows PLUS to continue to deliver timely, relevant and high quality content. While you might be familiar with the Request for Proposal (RFP) process for the PLUS Conference or Symposia, you may not be aware of all of the other content opportunities that are available.

Here is a glimpse at the additional PLUS content channels:

  • The PLUS Journal is a quarterly publication available exclusively to PLUS members. Articles are written by industry insiders and highlight the hot topics and key issues impacting the professional liability marketplace, as well as upcoming PLUS events and news.
  • The PLUS Blog is a great place to share thoughts on professional liability insurance with the PLUS membership of over 7,000 professional liability practitioners. PLUS has regular blog contributors and also welcomes one-off posts by members who wish to contribute.
  • PLUS Podcasts are pre-recorded, audio-only content that is available to members and non-members via the PLUS Connect App. Podcasts are an opportunity to share timely discussions amongst industry thought leaders on new trends and pressing issues.
  • PLUS Webinars are robust educational presentations which may be live or pre-recorded and require pre-registration.

You can learn more about these content channels here.  Interested in submitting an idea? We’d love to hear from you! Use the PLUS Content Idea form to submit your content ideas.

Social Inflation Webinar: Your Questions Answered

Yesterday was the PLUS hosted webinar on social inflation. William Wilt and Alan Zimmerman did a fantastic job presenting their research on the topic. While there wasn’t time to get to every audience question during the webinar, our speakers took the time to answer the remaining questions below. A huge thank you to both our speakers!

Weren’t able to make it to the live webinar? The webinar recording will be available to members on the PLUS website here.

1. There’s no “Federal Reserve” charged with managing social inflation! But are there things that insurers can do to mitigate the effects of social inflation?

Many (maybe, most) insurers are currently taking steps to mitigate the impact of social inflation – raising deductibles and attachment points, lowering policy limits and raising prices. Through trade organizations many insurers are involved in the political and regulatory process including efforts to temper the current trend toward reversing tort reforms enacted in the earlier 2000s (e.g., Pennsylvania just expanded its statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims).

2. Which states are prone to social inflation California? Florida? Texas?

Yes – all three!  We gather this is a nationwide trend but do think there is value to studying (and watching for trends) at the statewide level.  We mentioned the unwinding of tort reform in PA and there are other states where that has happened as well (Texas may be one…it requires further study).  The trends do not necessarily align neatly with political lines.  For example, most insurers are experiencing legal challenges in Florida (e.g., AOB benefits and auto PIP) even though that state is largely controlled by Republicans.

3. Do you have any data measuring social inflation impact on private D&O or EPL specifically?

We do not, sorry, other than medical professional liability included in the slide deck.

4. Are you aware of any data or studies that explore the impact of social inflation in employment practices liability litigation? Perhaps specifically looking at the impact of the #MeToo movement?

We are not but suggest that it might be worthwhile…perhaps some law firms have published on the topic? Anecdotally, we’re aware that suits alleging harassment at the workplace are of particular concern to liability insurers.

Wilt Professional Pic 2013William Wilt is the president of Assured Research, a boutique research firm producing subscription content focused on business development, financial, legal, claim and other topics relevant to (re)insurance professionals.  Clients of Assured Research include global and U.S. focused (re)insurers, brokers, and consulting firms writing or controlling some $150 billion in premiums.  Assured Research also provides analytical content for the insurance investment community.

Bill’s 30-year career in insurance encompasses a range of professional roles.  Bill began his career as an actuary at a major reinsurance company and continued in the actuarial profession at a Big Four accounting firm.  Bill spent five years as a senior analyst at Moody’s Investors Service, followed by seven years at Morgan Stanley, where he was the lead equity analyst following over 20 (re)insurance stocks.  Prior to forming Assured Research, Bill worked in corporate development at two insurance companies where he oversaw M&A, risk management and business development, as well as rating agency relations.

Alan ZimmermannAlan Zimmermann is a Managing Director at Assured Research, LLC a research and advisory firm concentrating on the property-casualty insurance industry. He is a long-time insurance analyst who focuses much of his attention on accounting, regulatory and other global macro-industry matters.

Prior to joining Assured Research in 2013 he was the head of the property-casualty insurance research team at Macquarie Securities which he joined in 2009 with the acquisition of Fox-Pitt, Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller.  At FPK he held a variety of managerial and investment oriented positions including Director of US Research, Head of US Equities, and international research coordinator.

Intellectual Property Insurance Webinar Q&A Follow Up

We had so many great questions come in during our Intellectual Property Insurance webinar earlier this month and the speakers were gracious enough to spend some time putting together answers to some of those questions we were unable to address live.

1. Briefly discuss IP exclusions on the Cyber form.

IP related losses are generally excluded from Cyber coverage.

However, some carriers are willing to cover losses relating to contractual indemnity obligations in the event that an Insured loses a third party’s trade secret information due to a cyber incident.

2. Can you talk specifically about policies designed to cover only trademarks? Many small companies have logos and firm names similar to larger unrelated companies and want protection from litigation.

A good defensive IP policy is designed to be flexible and is customized for each buyer so that it covers only what the Insured wants to protect.  For example, a company that wants to protect certain brand-related IP assets can schedule only those assets and thus customize the defensive IP policy to apply exactly to what they are trying to protect.

3. Insured is selling a water bottle on their website that they co-designed and imported from Chinese Manufacturer. Being accused of patent infringement for water bottle design. 

What type of policy do they need to protect them against claims such as this? 

They may be able to protect against catastrophic loss in the ongoing suit by purchasing a specific contingency policy. A defensive policy will provide protection against future infringement claims.

4. Is there still a typical “vetting” fee upfront before firm quote can be received?

There are carriers available that can usually provide an initial quote without charging a fee, However, when special protections are requested, such as defense against claims of trade secret misappropriation, an initial underwriting fee may be required.

5. Do you need a lawyers confirmation there is no infringement before insuring?

No, IP underwriters typically rely on in-house analysis and bring in outside counsel on an as-needed basis.

6. What about indemnity to a customer for infringement claims he may face from use of a product?

A defensive IP policy protects an alleged infringer against such claims.  The entity that is concerned that they will be alleged to infringe can obtain a defensive IP policy to protect itself or can request a contractual indemnification from their suppliers.

A component of a good defensive IP insurance policy is a contractual indemnification backstop, which can protect such a supplier from losses related to such contractual indemnity obligations.

In conclusion, there are two ways to solve for this problem, both of which allow for risk transfer through a defensive IP policy.

7. How often do the carriers get involved in the valuation of the IP? How/how often?

Underwriters of defensive IP insurance are concerned with the potential losses that will be covered by such a policy, including defense costs, damages from infringement claims related to products or services, and contractual indemnification obligations.  While damages from infringement claims related to products or services require an understanding of the value relating to such products or services, defensive IP underwriters do not value IP assets.

Residual value insurance is a different type of IP insurance that was not the subject of this webinar.  Residual Value underwriters will conduct an exercise to value IP assets as part of their underwriting process.

Did you miss the live webinar? PLUS members can access the on-demand recording here.

Thank you again to our speakers!

Dan Auslander headshot

 

Dan Auslander
Director of Marketing & Development at Ambridge Partners

 

 

 

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Sean Doyle
Intellectual Property Counsel at Ambridge Partners

 

 

 

Douglas Kine headshot

 

Douglas Kline
Partner, Chair IP Litigation at Goodwin

 

 

 

Jason Sandler headshot

 

Jason Sandler
Vice President at Marsh FINPRO