Featured Blog of the Month - National Insurance Law Forum: a Multi-Part Series Outlining the Decade’s Insurance Developments

It was the decade with no name. Ten years that turned the world upside down.
The decade began with concern over the millennial impact of a mathematical oddity but was ultimately dominated by two iconic events—one natural and one spawned by evil men—that spawned hundreds of insurance coverage law suits and changed our view of catastrophes.
An insurer that began the decade as one of the world’s largest ended the decade on the verge of financial catastrophe, forced to suffer the indignity of federal bail-out.
It was a decade in which new types of liability claims came and went like fashion trends (remember when obesity litigation was going to be “the next asbestos”?).
Some of our most cherished pre-conceptions vanished along with our 401K savings.
A decade that began with an electoral debacle ended with a revolution in our politics that created the promise of hope but has yet to achieve it.
A decade when insurance coverage precedents proved short-lived and where insurers struggled to stay ahead of burgeoning new areas of the law.
A decade that saw enough lawyers, insurance regulators and claims executives go to jail that “captives” took on a whole new meaning.
A decade in which personal communications devices went from obscurity to deafening ubiquity.
We saw changes that will forever changes how claims are presented and litigated:
--the plaintiff’s bar set aside their competitive instincts and demonstrated an unexpected ability to use the Internet and new technologies to quickly marshal and share information and tactics.
--the federal government went from a reluctant by-standard to a front-line player in the insurance marketplace.
--national boundaries became increasingly irrelevant as more foreign companies purchased domestic insurers and more and more U.S. claims originated overseas.
So much has happened in the past ten years that much of what did happened is now obscured in the cross-currents of history. Over the next few weeks, as the first decade of the Twenty-First Century comes to a close, we will voyage back through the past ten years, exploring the insurance highlights, low-lights and quirks of the years that were.
Next up:  2000---was it the end of the century or start of a new one?
© Copyright 2010 by the National Insurance Law Forum. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. This blog originally appeared on the National Insurance Law Forum website. The National Insurance Law Forum is one of the Insurance Law Center’s Top 50 Insurance Blogs for 2009. The Top 50 Insurance Blogs may be found here.


  • 07-04-2011

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