Blanket Reservation of Rights Letter Does Not Avoid Waiver of Coverage Defenses

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On February 19, 2009, the New York Appellate Division, First Department, held that an insurer waived its right to disclaim coverage based on late notice because it failed to timely assert the defense, notwithstanding that its disclaimer letters contained a “sweeping” reservation of all of its rights and the insurer disputed whether a policy had ever been issued to its insured during the relevant time period. The decision, Estee Lauder, Inc. v. OneBeacon Insurance Group, LLC, 2009 N.Y. Slip. Op. 01313 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep’t Feb. 19, 2009), underscores the importance of asserting coverage defenses with particularity and in a timely manner, even when the existence of coverage is in doubt, such as in missing policy situations.

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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.

© Adam Smith | Attorney Advertising

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