The year was 1979 when Bob Dylan’s song “Gotta Serve Somebody” was released on his album Slow Train Coming: “It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”
While Dylan’s theme of determining who you serve was unrelated to insurance brokers, the New York Court of Appeals recently clarified and distinguished its own 1979 opinion in Mighty Midgets v. Centennial Ins. Co., 47 N.Y.2d 12, which held that notice of a claim provided to an insurance broker could be sufficient to notify an insurer of a claim. The insured in Mighty Midgets, a non-profit youth football organization led by a young volunteer president, was told by its broker not to report the injury to the league’s liability insurer because the family of an injured minor was only looking for medical expense payments. When a lawsuit was served, the insurer denied coverage. The Court held under the circumstances that it was not “practicable” to notify the insurer until the lawsuit was served and overturned the denial of coverage for late notice.