“Pay No Attention To The Insurer Behind The Curtain!”

discovery of reinsurance treaty

Insurance Law360 just published a piece that I wrote explaining why reinsurance information should be discoverable in the context of insurance coverage disputes between insurance companies and their policyholders.  Here’s the opening paragraph:

Like that adage from political campaigns — if you repeat something often enough, it will be accepted as true — insurers in insurance coverage disputes with their policyholders assert time and time again that reinsurance documents are irrelevant to how their policy language should be interpreted and how the policyholders’ claims should be covered.

But reinsurance information is not irrelevant, of course.  In fact, it’s just the opposite in the context of coverage disputes.  Why, then, do insurance companies argue so vociferously that reinsurance is not discoverable?

Insurance companies fight to keep reinsurance documents from seeing the light of day in coverage disputes with their policyholders because reinsurance documents contain relevant, and likely unguarded, discussions of the appropriate insurance coverage for the claims, as illustrated by insurers’ and reinsurers’ publicly available briefs, pleadings and exhibits to court filings.

I give several reasons why reinsurance is discoverable and why it’s relevant.  For example, in one of the sections, I explain that “reinsurance documents are relevant because  they discuss the policyholder’s claims, how those claims fit within the disputed insurance policies, and notice of the claims.”  And what could be more relevant to a coverage dispute than that?

Now that I’ve whet your appetite on the subject, click on over to Insurance Law360 to see the article.  Or, check out the reprint here, hosted on Dickstein Shapiro LLP’s website.


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