Photo of John Buchanan

John Buchanan

John Buchanan, senior counsel in Covington's Washington office and the firm's first Insurance Practice Group Coordinator, has represented policyholders in insurance coverage advocacy, dispute resolution and counseling for nearly four decades. His practice has ranged from the early DES and asbestos coverage litigation to claims for some of the largest cyber losses in history. John has litigated, arbitrated or negotiated a wide variety of complex property and casualty insurance claims, from railroad derailment claims to satellite-in-orbit claims, and from silver-theft claims to cyber claims. The National Law Journal named him an Insurance Trailblazer in 2021, and Best Lawyers has twice named him Washington Insurance Lawyer of the Year. Chambers USA has also consistently recognized him in its national rankings for insurance coverage lawyers (currently as Senior Statesman, previously in Band 1), as have Best of the Best USA, Who’s Who Legal and other peer reviewed lawyer registries.

John became involved with emerging cyber-related coverage issues in the mid-1990s and co-authored one of the earliest treatise chapters on cyber insurance coverage in 2001. Starting with the network intrusion and payment card thefts discovered by TJX in 2006, he has represented policyholders pursuing claims for losses arising from data breaches reported to involve tens of millions of compromised records. John also regularly advises businesses in the management of their cyber and cyber-physical risks, such as those arising from products or services involving the Internet of Things (IoT)-, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs), and the Metaverse or “Web3.”

Last week, Covington dispatched a team of connected and automated vehicles (“CAV”) practitioners to participate in the Mcity Congress, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Lawyers from our Technology and IP Transactions, Public Policy, Product Safety and Liability, and Insurance practice groups presented a series of observations and insights around mitigating liability in the CAV industry, and we saw first-hand what’s happening at the cutting edge of CAV technology.
Continue Reading IoT Update: Who’s at the Wheel? Connected and Automated Vehicles Stakeholders Weigh In from the Mcity Congress

Self-driving cars are here.  And although these so-called autonomous vehicles (AVs) are expected to reduce the overall number of auto accidents significantly, some accidents are still statistically inevitable.  This raises an important question for AV industry stakeholders: when human beings aren’t in the driver’s seat, what accident-compensation mechanisms should come into play?

Earlier this month, the Travelers Institute, a unit of the major auto insurer, issued a white paper on insurance for AVs, “Insuring Autonomy: How auto insurance can adapt to changing risks.”  Though some have called AVs an existential threat to the auto insurance industry, the Travelers study sees opportunities.  Among its recommendations: that the existing auto insurance infrastructure should be extended to AVs; that AV auto insurance should be mandatory; and that mandatory policy limits should be increased to account for more expensive technology in AVs.  The Travelers study weighs auto insurance against the product liability regime as alternative accident compensation schemes and concludes that auto insurance is the preferred first-instance solution.
Continue Reading Covington AI/IoT Update: The Future of Accident Compensation in a Driverless World

Two hundred billion IoT devices could be in use by 2020, according to one estimate cited in the World Economic Forum’s recent report, Mitigating Risk in the Innovation Economy.  This rapid integration of the digital world and the physical world presents unprecedented opportunities for businesses in a wide array of industries.  But it also