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Insurance brokers are precariously positioned. On the one hand, they are trusted advisors and claims handlers for their clients, and succeed in resolving many claims. On the other hand, when an insurance company denies a claim, the broker becomes a convenient target.
New Jersey law is particularly onerous for brokers. A broker is a fiduciary and a professional, Aden v. Fortsh. Brokers are expected to know the risks that their clients face, and protect them accordingly. Under New Jersey law, a broker's role can be akin to risk manager -- particularly if the broker has promised that he or she will fully examine the policyholder's operations and provide it with all of the insurance that it needs. A broker's failure to meet these responsibilities can result in liability.
To make matters even more complex, New York law is completely the opposite of New Jersey law on these issues. Under New York law, a broker is neither a fiduciary nor professional, but merely an order taker - unless the policyholder can establish a 'special relationship.' The New York Court of Appeals has yet to find such a 'special relationship.'
This webinar will commence with Adam Cantor, a client advocate, who will explain the role of the insurance broker in resolving claims. Bob Chesler will then explore broker liability in New Jersey and New York. Tom Quinn will conclude with an analysis of litigating the broker liability claim.
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