Last year we saw many legal developments that will impact businesses in 2016. These developments may create a need for a business insurance review. Business or commercial insurance covers your business for legal liability claims which cause damage or injury to third parties. If laws are created, or current laws change, it may impact your businesses’ legal liability. Here are some examples of current litigation, rulings, and legislation that could impact your business:
- Fair housing laws -- In Texas any practice can be illegal if it disproportionately affects minorities, regardless of the intent, under a disparate impact theory. This can affect rental housing, apartments, property managers, and even commercial building owners.
- The Obama administration declared a major victory when the Supreme Court ruled that millions of Americans were entitled to keep insurance tax subsidies in King v. Burwell, 135 S. Ct. 2480 (2015).
- Cyber Liability Defense -- In a case in the west, a fitness gym was bought by another fitness gym. Gym one had purchased cyber insurance to protect client’s information. During the transition gym two experienced a data breach. Gym two attempted to obtain coverage under gym one’s cyber insurance. The court ruled against gym two.
- The National Restaurant Association is suing New York City over sodium warnings on menus. The New York City Board of Health “sodium warning” rule applies to restaurants with more than 15 locations nationwide, and also concession stands at some movie theaters and sports stadiums.
- Immigration Audits -- The federal government is increasing audits of business in order to make sure they are complying with all immigration laws.
- Cloud-data storage is becoming more popular, since it allows for better collaboration and automatic backups. The recent hack of Sony Pictures brought the threat of data insecurity to the public’s attention. This increases your business cyber risk.
- The Uber class-action suit has been expanded to include more drivers. The results of Uber's legal battle could reshape the on-demand economy.
- Independent contractor laws have changed. Businesses will need to make sure the independent contractors are truly independent.
- The use and ownership of drones -- You must register your drone, and the legal requirements are changing.