Policy Limits

News & Analysis as of

New York District Court Rejects Excess Carrier’s Attempt to Stack Primary Limits in Continuous Exposure Case

Cases involving continuous exposure present unique challenges. Determining when the alleged injury occurred is critical in evaluating causation, damages, and statute of limitations defenses. The date and nature of the...more

Reinsurer’s Liability Capped At Amount Stated In Liability Clauses

In a case on which we previously reported on January 29, 2014, a federal court in New York recently ruled that a reinsurer was not required to pay amounts in excess of the sums stated in the Liability Clauses of two...more

Et tu, Buddy?: When Excess Insurers Sue for Bad Faith

Insurers don’t, as a rule, like bad faith suits. But life can play funny tricks—as when a judgment against an insured breaches a layer of excess coverage, because the primary carrier failed to settle within its policy...more

Seventh Circuit: Under Wisconsin Law, “Continuous or Repeated Exposure” Language Means That a Continuous Trigger Theory Applies

Yesterday, in Strauss v. Chubb Indem. Ins. Co., – F.3d – , 2014 WL 6435314, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21794 (7th Cir., Nov. 18, 2014), the Court of Appeals held that the use of the phrase “continuous or repeated exposure” in a...more

A Unilateral Scrivener’s Error Can Reflect a Mutual Mistake Requiring Policy Reformation (or, Don’t Expect $20 Million in...

October 29 marked the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s assault on New York and New Jersey. Although the insurance litigation arising from this storm is just beginning, we have already seen a number of decisions out...more

Third Circuit Holds That Insured Must Reimburse Insurer For Litigation Costs Paid In Excess Of Sub-limit

In CAMICO Mutual Insurance Co. v. Heffler, Radetich & Saitta, L.L.P., the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently held that a $100,000 sub-limit for claims involving employee misappropriation, misuse,...more

Pro-Policyholder Opinion Drives Home Importance of Excess Policy Language When Settling with an Underlying Insurer for Less Than...

A reoccurring issue with excess insurance is whether a policyholder can trigger excess coverage by agreeing to a below-limits settlement with an underlying insurer, and filling in the gap between the settlement amount and the...more

IMO Industries Tackles New Jersey Law on Host of Insurance Coverage Issues

On September 30, 2014, New Jersey’s Appellate Division ruled on a bevy of insurance coverage issues in the long-tail liability context, including exhaustion of primary policies, application of policy limits to multi-year and...more

New York State Court Rules That Darwin Has Duty to Defend but AIG Does Not, for Same Risk, Based on Differing Policy Language

New York state court Judge Shirley Werner Kornreich recently ruled that American International Group, Inc. (“AIG”) didn’t have to pay certain defense costs for various suits brought against QBE Holdings, Inc. and its...more

Why Won’t the Insurer Tell Me the Policy Limits?

Consider that most drivers in California maintain the absolute minimum amount of insurance. The limits for the minimum are hardly adequate in about 50% of all accidents. That means it is very important to determine whether...more

Class Action Against State Auto Concerning Homeowners’ Policy Limits Is One Worth Watching

Insurers typically adjust (or propose to adjust) the policy limits on a homeowners’ policy every year to take into account changes in the cost of construction. This is intended to help insureds make sure that sufficient...more

Excess Policy Attaches Notwithstanding Settlement with Underlying Insurers for Less Than Full Limits

Recently, a Texas Court of Appeals handed down a pro-policyholder opinion in the case of Plantation Pipe Line Co. v. Highlands Insurance Co., in Receivership, Case No. 11-12-00029-CV (Tex. App. Aug. 29, 2014). The issue...more

What Triggers Excess Coverage In An Environmental Case: Not Necessarily the Payment of the Full Underlying Policy Limits

More and more excess insurers are taking the position that a policyholder which settles with primary or low level excess insurers for less than the full amount of the policy limits has waived its right to obtain coverage from...more

Reinsurer’s Exposure Capped At The Certificate Limits: No Obligation To Pay Defense Expenses Above The Limits

A New York federal court recently was presented with a reinsurance dispute about the amount a reinsurer was required to pay under certain reinsurance Certificates. The issue was whether the reinsurer’s obligation was capped...more

A Flood by Any Other Name is Still a Flood – or Why Losses Caused by Flood Are Subject to Flood Sublimits

In New Sea Crest Healthcare Center, LLC v. Lexington Ins. Co., No. 12-CV 6414(RJD)(RLM), 2014 WL 2879839 (E.D.N.Y. June 24, 2014), the insureds suffered losses to nursing homes in two locations as a result of Hurricane Sandy....more

New Mandatory Exclusions in Standard CGL Policies Limit Coverage for Data Breaches

The insurance industry continues to respond to the growing threat of data breaches by directing businesses facing that risk towards new, risk-specific cyber insurance products, while attempting to restrict coverage for data...more

New York Court Finds Delay In Completion Losses Are Subject To Flood Annual Aggregate Limit

In El-Ad 250 West LLC v. Zurich American Ins. Co., 2014 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2838 (June 27, 2014), a New York court analyzed the application of various provisions contained in a Builders Risk Insurance Policy (the “Policy”)...more

New York Court: All Sandy Losses, Including “Downstream” Financial Ones, Capped By Annual Aggregate Limit For Flood

Superstorm Sandy jurisprudence is starting to shed light on some unresolved issues in the effected states. In El-Ad 250 West LLC v. Zurich American Ins. Co., — N.Y.S.2d —, 2014 WL 2931058 (N.Y.Cty., June 27, 2014), a New...more

Northern District of New York: Primary Insurer That Waited Nine Years to Tender Policy Limits to Injured Plaintiff Was Liable to...

Quincy Mutual Fire Ins. Co. v. New York Central Mutual Fire Ins. Co., No 3:12-CV-1041-DEP (N.D.N.Y. March 31, 2014) - The Northern District of New York held that a primary carrier that declined to settle an underlying...more

Policyholders Beware: New York Court Finds Policyholder Forfeited Excess Coverage By Settling With Underlying Carriers For Less...

Many excess insurance policies provide that coverage is not available unless all underlying insurers have first paid the full limits of their policies. Relying on such language, excess insurers argue that when a policyholder...more

Don't Neglect to Understand Insurance Jargon

Unfortunately, insurance requirements in contracts are not easy to understand. The language used in insurance requirements is not always intuitive, but we all know that the consequences of not having the right insurance can...more

Not All Policies Are Created Equal: Evergreen State Appeals Court Blocks Policyholder Reach to Excess Insurance After Settlement...

The decision in Quellos Group LLC v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 68478-7-1 (Wash. Ct. App. Nov. 12, 2013) is a reminder that vague policy language can be costly. You may not have access to your excess insurance funds. The...more

One Policy Term, May Have Two Meanings

A California Court of Appeal held in Transport Ins. Co. v. Superior Ct. (R.R. Street & Co.) that a named insured’s reasonable expectations of coverage can be different from those of an additional insured’s. This ruling leaves...more

Reid Ruling Ignores Calif. Precedent

A good deal has already been written about the recent Reid case in California, but there is more to be said. On Oct. 7, 2013, Division 8 of the Second District Court of Appeals held in Reid v. Mercury Insurance Company, No....more

FHA Announces Plans to Lower Mortgage Insurance Policy Caps

Last Friday, the Federal Housing Administration announced that it will reduce the maximum threshold for the high-price mortgages it is willing to insure. This change was called for by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of...more

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