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Superior Court puts limits on duties of insurance brokers

By: John B. Cromer, Esq.

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania issued its decision in Wisniski v. Brown & Brown Ins. Co. of PA, No. 876 MDA 2003 (Pa. Super., August 15, 2006). The decision, in a published opinion, held that an insurance broker is under no legal duty to inspect business premises and advise clients on the need to purchase flood insurance absent a confidential relationship. This is a reversal of an earlier decision of the Superior Court which was reviewed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court late last year.

Earlier this year, on remand to the Superior Court, Burns White attorneys, John B. Cromer and Ira L. Podheiser, representing various entities as Amici (“friend-of-the-court”) and participated in the briefing of the legal issues involved for the Superior Court’s decision and urged the adoption of a rule limiting the duties of insurance brokers.

For a copy of the decision or the brief of the Amici, or for further information, please contact John B. Cromer [email protected] at 412-995-3134 or Ira L. Podheiser [email protected] at 412-995-3092.