The New Jersey Supreme Court will soon decide whether insurers can deny coverage on the grounds of late notice without showing prejudice, while courts statewide grapple with sublimits and deductibles in Superstorm Sandy suits. Here, Law360 explores four issues that insurance lawyers are tracking in the Garden State.
Robert D. Chesler, an insurance recovery lawyer in the New Jersey office of Anderson Kill, weighs in on two important matters:
With regard to the Templo Fuente De Vida Corp. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. matter that the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed to review, which implicates the question of whether an insurer must show prejudice from a policyholder's late notice in order to deny coverage under a claims-made policy:
"I'm hoping that the Supreme Court will reverse"
"The 'as soon as practicable' language has been occurrence-based since 1968, when the Supreme Court found that the language required appreciable prejudice. Just because you take that language and put it in a claims-made policy, that shouldn't alter that requirement."
Regarding Superstorm Sandy issues, including the application of sublimits and deductibles and questions of causation and the recent decision in Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. v. Ace American Insurance Co.:
"I think for all those people with named storm or hurricane deductibles, it's a great benefit"