Second Circuit Upholds Additional Insured Limitations; Discusses Impact of Certificates of Insurance


On December 23, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a requirement in an additional insured endorsement that the underlying contract must be “executed” prior to the loss in order for additional insured status to be granted. The court, however, did not grant judgment in favor of the insurer because it found there to be an issue under New York law whether a certificate of insurance issued by the insurer’s agent estopped the insurer from contesting coverage. Because of a split in authority between departments of the New York Appellate Division regarding the impact of certificates of insurance, the Second Circuit certified the following question to the New York Court of Appeals:

In a case brought against an insurer in which a plaintiff seeks a declaration that it is covered under an insurance policy issued by that insurer, does a certificate of insurance issued by an agent of the insurer that states that the policy is in force but also bears language that the certificate is not evidence of coverage, is for informational purposes only, or other similar disclaimers, estop the insurer from denying coverage under the policy?

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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