Archive for September, 2015

Self-Driving Cars: A View from 2025

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

By Hilary Rowen, Sedgwick San Francisco

An array of self-driving cars will be on the road within the next decade. Over the next few years, sensors and software will substitute for the human driver in an increasingly wide range of driving conditions. What will the driving and auto insurance worlds look like in 2025?

A Vision of the Future in 10 Years

By 2025, fully autonomous vehicles, with no driver controls, likely will be deployed in a variety of settings. However, the geographic footprint and driving conditions in which fully automated vehicles can travel will remain restricted. These driverless vehicles primarily will be owned by commercial operations, rather than individuals. They will be quite common in some locations, including downtown areas of large cities, suburban technology clusters and tourist destinations.

Further deployment will depend not only on technological developments but also on political debates not dissimilar to the current issues arising from the launch of Uber in various cities.

To continue reading…

© 2015 Reprinted with permission, WardsAuto.com

Washington Bad Faith Law at a Glance

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

By Bob Meyers, Sedgwick Seattle

Sedgwick Seattle partner Bob Meyers has authored a white paper, Washington Bad Faith Law At A Glance, which discusses bad faith law in Washington state. Noting that Washington state can be a difficult jurisdiction for insurers, and their duties of care are sometimes interpreted or applied quite broadly, Meyers cites notable Washington authorities relating to common law bad faith, the Consumer Protection Act, and the Insurance Fair Conduct Act. For ease of reference, he also includes excerpts from notable Washington insurance statutes and regulations.

Bob Meyers has extensive experience representing U.S. and international insurers in complex, high-value insurance matters, including advising clients about their rights and obligations under insurance policies, bad faith law, and insurance statutes and regulations, and representing insurers in disputes and lawsuits.

New Frontiers for Financial Institution and Directors & Officers Insurance

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

By Andrew Milne, Sedgwick London

Recent years have shown that regulators in developing countries are becoming more active in investigating corporate misfeasance and improper conduct of directors.

In India, action has been taken in recent months by the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the Serious Frauds Investigation Office, and the Central Bank of India against former executives and the founder of Satyam Computer Services for false accounting and pocketing wrongful gains from share transactions.  Regulators have imposed bans on the individuals’ involvement in capital markets, issued orders requiring them to repay millions of dollars to Satyam, and brought criminal proceedings against them.

In Brazil, a massive corruption scandal involving contract fixing and bribery at the state oil company Petrobras has caused, among other things, the arrest of 18 Petrobras employees and a wide ranging investigation being commenced by Brazil’s securities commission, Comissao de Valores Mobiliaros, into the conduct of Petrobras’ directors and the directors of a number of companies awarded construction contacts by Petrobras.

Although these corporate scandals could be seen as outliers, it appears more likely they mark an increased trend for regulators in India, Brazil and other developing jurisdictions in asserting firmer action against the directors and officers of companies involved in corporate misfeasance and corruption.  This is partly driven by the growth of the middle class and demands for improved governance at the public and corporate levels, as well as tougher sanctions for those who fail to adhere to the standards expected.

Indeed, recent legislation passed in both jurisdictions should have the effect of tightening the regulatory regime faced by companies and their directors with the Indian Companies Act of 2013 establishing for the first time the duties of independent directors, and the Brazilian Clean Companies Act of 2014 subjecting Brazilian companies (and foreign entities with Brazilian offices) to civil and administrative sanctions for bribery of domestic or foreign public officials.

These developments should lead to an increase in the demand for FI and D&O coverage, and may create opportunities for insurers to increase their market share through increasing their customer base.  However, insurers should be cautious and consider seeking appropriate advice so that they properly understand the coverage, claims, and regulatory issues that may arise from accepting risks in developing nations.

Sedgwick Attorneys
Sedgwick’s insurance attorneys regularly present to clients and other industry professionals on a wide range of topics. For a complete list of our attorneys, click here.
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