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What’s new: In brief (May 10, 2004)


May 10, 2004   by Canadian Underwriter


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The World Trade Center insurance trial verdict will have far-reaching implications for commercial clients, says Wood & Bender LLP. While the decision highlights the need to have insurance negotiations finalized prior to completing major business transactions, it has also spurred insurers to adopt policies to avoid liability. These “three Rs” include retrenchment of sources of primary insurance, restriction of policy terms, and rescission of policies when claims occur.

Swiss Re has issued a paper on the use of nanotechnology in commercial and industrial production in an attempt to stimulate discussion of the potential risks associated with this new technology. Nanotechnology involves the manufacture of particles a few millionths of a millimeter in size which could produce faster computer chips, ultra-thin coatings and more. Insufficient research currently exists to understand what threat this emerging technology might bring, says Swiss Re experts.

A bill that would have restricted underwriting homeowners’ policies based on the breed of dogs in the house has “gone to the dogs” in California. Insurers had objected to the legislation which would have limited their ability to add a surcharge or refuse coverage to homeowners who own breeds associated with attacks, thus exposing homeowners’ carriers to potential liability in the event of a dog attack. The bill failed to receive approval at the committee stage and has been set aside for reconsideration.


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