Archives: Coverage

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Duty to Defend Does Not Extend to Claim Where No Suit Is Filed

Case law in nearly every state provides that the duty to defend is broader than the duty to indemnify. Typically courts look to the allegations in the complaint and compare those allegations to the coverage grants in the policy to determine if the allegations are sufficient to bring the claim within the possibility of coverage … Continue Reading

Contractual Privity and Reinsurance

In most jurisdictions a policyholder cannot bring a direct action against a reinsurer because of the lack of contractual privity. Yes, there are some quirky statutes and jurisdictions that allow a direct right of action under certain circumstances, but the general rule is that where there is no contractual relationship between the reinsurer and the … Continue Reading

New York Appeals Court Holds No Allocation of Environmental Losses to Insurers for Uninsured Years

In a case of first impression, a New York intermediate appellate court has held that the policyholder, rather than existing insurers, must be allocated  environmental cleanup costs for periods of time when environmental cleanup insurance was not available in the marketplace. The decision reverses the denial of the insurer’s partial motion for summary judgment.… Continue Reading

Is a Reinsurance Contract an Insurance Contract for Discovery Purposes?

Litigators know that in federal court initial disclosures are required. Under FRCP 26(a)(1)(A)(iv), parties must provide to the other side for inspection and copying “any insurance agreement under which an insurance business may be liable to satisfy all or part of a possible judgment in the action or to indemnify or reimburse for payments made … Continue Reading

New York Court of Appeals Reaffirms Contract Language Controls Allocation and Exhaustion Methodologies

Long-tail claims from asbestos and other toxic exposures have plagued policyholders and their insurers for decades. Myriad issues arise when trying to determine when injuries are incurred, how policies are triggered, how liability should be allocated among multiple policies and when excess policies are required to cover the losses. None of this is easy and … Continue Reading

The Wellington Agreement’s Confidentiality Provision Lives On

You remember the Wellington Agreement don’t you? This was the settlement agreement entered into back in 1985 to resolve numerous coverage disputes between Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corp. and its producers and insurers over pending asbestos litigation. Confidential arbitrations took place as part of the Wellington Agreement to resolve these coverage disputes. Much evidence was created as … Continue Reading

Construing Collapse Under a Homeowners’ Insurance Policy

Homeowners’ policies have become more complex as more and more homes have been built around the country. With the increase in natural and other disasters, including construction defect claims, homeowners have looked to their policies for coverage when disasters have destroyed or nearly destroyed their homes. A recent case highlights a couple of the issues … Continue Reading

Timing Is Everything for Late Notice In New York

Nearly every liability policy has a provision that requires the policyholder to notify the insurer promptly of any accident or incident that might become a claim and of any lawsuit or other claim filed against the policyholder by a claimant. And many of these notice provisions are couched in language that the courts have construed … Continue Reading

The Dichotomy Between Intent to Injure and Intentional Conduct

Most liability policies require that the claim arise from an accident or occurrence typically defined in a way that the accident or occurrence is a fortuitous event and not an intentional act. The typical automobile accident or slip and fall are accidents; nothing premeditated or planned, no intent to cause harm, no intent to drive … Continue Reading

OCIP and CCIP Policies and the Duty to Reimburse for Defense Costs

I have run across a number of interesting situations involving owner controlled or contractor controlled insurance programs (“OCIP” or “CCIP”) that have developed into actual coverage disputes or potential disputes (can’t talk about the potential one!). For those who don’t know, an owner controlled or contractor controlled insurance policy or program is essentially a way … Continue Reading

Judgment Based Partly on Florida Civil Theft Statute Neither Covered nor Insurable by Directors and Officers or Property Policies

A Florida federal court in Miami awarded D&O and property insurers summary judgment in a declaratory action, ruling in their favor on essentially every coverage issue, while also ruling that the damages for which their insured was found liable were uninsurable.  Twin City Fire Ins. Co. v. CR Technologies, Inc., 25 F.L.W.Fed. D113a (SDFL Mar. … Continue Reading
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