A Co-Insured's Arson Will Not Burn Coverage

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A fire insurance policy that excludes coverage for intentional acts or criminal conduct of "any" insured does not preclude coverage for innocent insureds who suffer loss because of a co-insured's intentional or criminal acts. Century National Insurance Company v. Jesus Garcia et al, Case No. S179252 (S. Ct. February 17, 2011).

The Garcias were insureds under a homeowner's policy when their adult son intentionally set fire to their home. The home sustained substantial damage, and the Garcias filed a claim under their policy to recover for their loss. The carrier denied the claim, and sued the Garcias. In the lawsuit, the carrier sought a ruling that the policy excluded coverage for intentional acts or criminal conduct of "any insured," and that the Garcia’s adult son was an insured for purposes of applying the exclusion.

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