A North Carolina magistrate judge recently denied an insurer’s motion for a protective order in a suit seeking a declaration that American Home Assurance (American Home) owes PCS Phosphate Co. Inc. (PCS) a duty to defend and a duty to indemnify in two underlying environmental contamination suits. In the coverage suit, the magistrate judge denied American Home’s protective order regarding American Home’s reserves because the request fell “within the scope of permissible discovery based upon claims asserted in this matter.” This fact was true, according to the magistrate judge, because PCS had asserted bad faith and breach of contract claims, while American Home asserted a late notice defense. In such an instance, reserve information is relevant and discoverable. Further, the magistrate held that requests regarding claims handling manuals, record retention, underwriting documents, and promotional materials are all relevant and discoverable.  PCS Phosphate Co., Inc. v. American Home Assurance Co., No. 5:14-CV-99-D (USDC E.D. N.C. Dec. 10, 2015).