Insurance Law and Regulation by Quinn Emanuel

Insurance is a way to protect against financial loss. People pay a premium into a pool and when something happens, that loss is shared by a large group of people.


Insurance law is the set of rules and regulations that govern insurers. It ensures that they operate honorably and fairly while ensuring that policy holders get the benefits they are legally entitled to.

Insurance contracts

Insurance contracts are legal binding agreements between the insurer and insured that guarantee the insured coverage against certain risks. They must contain four essential elements to be enforceable: offer and acceptance, consideration, legal purpose, and competent parties. Generally, an insurance contract is a unilateral agreement between the insurer and the insured, but some policies are bilateral. The terms of an insurance contract depend on the type of policy purchased and the specific circumstances of the insured event.

Insurance law governs the business of insurance and requires that insurers operate honorably and fairly while paying claims safeguarded by the policy. It also provides for the resolution of disputes between insurers and insureds through arbitration, litigation, or other means.

In most countries, the insurance industry is highly regulated. It is subject to federal and state regulation as well as self-regulation by industry groups. These groups establish ethical standards and best practices for the industry, as well as professional designations.

Insurance applicants must disclose all material information when applying for insurance. This is called the duty of good faith and is a core principle in insurance law. Failure to disclose important information can result in the voiding of an insurance contract, which can leave the insured without any coverage. In addition to revealing all relevant information, the duty of good faith requires that insurers not make false or misleading statements about their products.

Insurance regulation

Insurance regulation is a broad umbrella of state laws and administrative guidelines that govern the insurance industry. It primarily addresses the solvency of insurers and the fairness of markets, but also includes other issues such as capitalization, reserves, rates, and various “back office” processes. It also prohibits certain activities on the part of agents and brokers, such as twisting (inducing policyholders to cancel their existing policies and buy new ones) and churning (inducing them to switch policies without justification).

The vast majority of insurance regulation in the United States takes place at the state level. Each state has a regulatory body, often called the Department of Insurance or an equivalent, with its own Commissioner or a similar official. States also coordinate through a non-profit trade association, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which creates model laws that members may adopt.

The federal government does regulate some aspects of insurance, mainly by enforcing antitrust law and regulating the sale of credit default swaps. However, many groups oppose federal regulation, arguing that it would add bureaucracy and cost, driving small, niche insurers out of business. In the US, a state regulator is typically an individual appointed by the governor. The first state insurance commission was created in New Hampshire in 1851. Today, most U.S. insurance companies are licensed in multiple states, and are said to be domiciled in the state that issued their primary license.

Insurance law treatises

Written by experienced practitioners, this authoritative work is cited by courts, used by counsel and relied upon by insurance professionals. Its clear, easy-to-follow explanations are accompanied by analysis of the relevant policy language and caselaw. It includes detailed coverage of property and casualty insurance; reinsurance; automobile, financial guaranty, suretyship, title, ocean marine, life, group, annuity and governmental life and disability insurance; ERISA, employee benefits and related statutes and regulations. It also provides clause-by-clause analysis of model life, health and property insurance policies and extensive case and statutory citations with analysis.

The single source for state law on virtually all of the issues that can arise in a coverage dispute. It provides step-by-step guidance through the theory, case law and historical policy background on all aspects of a coverage litigation, including interpretation of policy language; trigger and scope of coverage; defense obligations; limits, exclusions and allocation; settlement and adjustment of claims; and coverage and bad faith litigation.

Use this treatise to navigate the complex points of commercial general liability and artisan/engineer/builder risk policies with ease. The New Appleman Library Edition cuts through the tangle of existing sources to provide you with a clear, concise and current statement of the law in a single volume. It is an indispensable tool for any attorney handling or advising businesses of all sizes and includes more than a quarter million citations and factual notes.

Insurance litigation

Insurance litigation is a specialized field in which lawyers handle legal disputes involving insurance companies. Such cases can involve high-value coverage disputes or cutting-edge legal issues of significance to the industry. Quinn Emanuel’s Insurance and Reinsurance Litigation Group is renowned for its expertise in this area, and is recognized as one of the premier practices in the country.

In the United States, most regulation of insurance occurs at the state level. However, there are some significant pieces of federal legislation that affect the insurance industry. These include the McCarran-Ferguson Act (15 U.S.C. 1011), which provides that state laws supersede any federal statutes not specifically addressing insurance.

Aside from statutory provisions, most insurance cases are governed by contract law. This means that if an insurer fails to perform its contractual duties, the injured party may sue it for damages. In addition, if an insurer acts in bad faith, the injured party can recover punitive damages in some states.

Insurance litigation is an important tool for policyholders to use against unscrupulous insurance companies that refuse to pay legitimate claims. This is especially true in cases involving large-scale property damage, such as those caused by Hurricane Irma. In such cases, it’s important to hire a lawyer who will fight for your rights. Sanford Young is an experienced New York/New Jersey attorney who specializes in insurance litigation. He has extensive experience representing clients in high-value insurance disputes, including directors and officers (D&O) liability, life, mortgage, and business interruption insurance claims, as well as complex reinsurance arbitrations. He also has handled a wide variety of bet-the-company litigations.