More On ISO’s Just-Filed CGL Data Breach Exclusions

As discussed in the Late-r Notice column in the last issue of Coverage Opinions , there has been much chatter of late about insurance for losses that a business sustains from cyber liability – especially data breaches. Think of a computer network that has been hacked or somehow failed, with the...

"Blast Fax" TCPA Damages Covered Under CGL Policy

In Standard Mutual Insurance Co, v. Lay , 2013 IL 114617 [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the court held that damages awarded pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(3) (the “TCPA”) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com...

Ten Most Significant Insurance Coverage Decisions Of 2013 – Washington Supreme Court: Policy Arbitration Clauses Are Unenforceable

Insurers See Red – Insureds See Delicious W.C. Fields once famously quipped: “All things considered, I’d rather be in arbitration.” Insurance policies sometimes contain clauses requiring that any dispute under the policy be resolved by arbitration. Given the complexity and...

Ten Most Significant Insurance Coverage Decisions Of 2013 – Illinois Supreme Court: Statutory Liquidated Damages Are Not Penal And Not Uninsurable Under Public Policy

Standard Mutual Insurance Company v. Lay, No. 114617, 989 N.E.2d 591 (Ill. May 23, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], is a Telephone Consumer Protection Act coverage case. TCPA is a do-do bird issue, or getting close to it, on account of the frequent lack of insurance dollars...

Ten Most Significant Insurance Coverage Decisions Of 2013 – Almost Heaven For Policyholders: West Virginia High Court Overrules Four Prior Decisions And Holds That Faulty Workmanship Is An “Occurrence” [And Two Others Do The Same]

Ordinarily I would not include in the annual insurance hit-parade a case addressing the beat-to-death issue whether faulty workmanship qualifies as an “occurrence” under a commercial general liability policy. There are simply too many cases addressing the issue so any single new one, even...

The CGL “Business Risk” Exclusions

By David Smith I recently came upon an interesting case from the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that examined the complex and confusing Commercial General Liability (CGL) “business risk” exclusions. Oxford Aviation, Inc. et al. v. Global Aerospace, Inc. , 680 F...

Leading Coverage Lawyers: The Most Significant Insurance Coverage Decisions Of 2013

For the past 13 years, at around this time, I have sat down and inked a list of the ten insurance coverage decisions of the year just-completed that I believed were the most significant. There was nothing complex or scientific about the process nor authoritative about the results. Neither was the process...

Understanding The “Your Work” Exclusion In CGL Insurance Policies

By attorney Maggie Finnegan Most construction contracts require contractors to carry CGL insurance to cover potential liability due to property damage and bodily injury. However, it is important to note that CGL policies often include numerous policy exclusions. A typical exclusion often found in...

Don’t Buy a Pig in a Poke – Carbon Monoxide Is a Pollutant

Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance provides extensive coverage to those insured by the CGL. However, it does not cover every possible event or injury. In Church Mutual Insurance Company v. Clay Center Christian Church, Defendant, Cheryl S. Green; Cheryl S. Green as Personal Representative of...

Absolute Pollution Exclusion Still Unenforceable in Indiana

By Seth Lamden The Insurance Committee of the Indiana State Senate has voted 6 to 3 against House Bill 1241 , which would have amended the Indiana Insurance Code to specify the manner in which the term "pollutant" must be construed in liability insurance policies. By way...

Buyer’s Remorse: Exclusions Serve an Important Purpose

No insurance policy covers every possible risk faced by a person or business. Liability insurance policies are written to cover certain risks faced by a person or entity at a price the person or entity finds affordable. Some risks can be easily avoided by operating honestly and in good faith. Others...

Don’t Let a Viable Defendant Walk Free

I have many times in this space cautioned against giving up the ability to sue and collect from a viable defendant with assets to seek damages from an insurer. In Jennifer A. Stephens, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Charles Eugene Becker and as Assignee of Anchorage Homes, LLC, Plaintiff...

Pennsylvania Superior Court Opens Door to Coverage of Faulty Workmanship Claims

By Darin J. McMullen Pennsylvania policyholders can more confidently challenge insurance companies' denials of faulty workmanship claims following the Pennsylvania Superior Court's recent opinion in Indalex Inc. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, 2013 Pa. Super 311 (Dec...

The Next Coverage Battle Looming?: Eliminating Coverage Under A “Standard” CGL Policy For Construction Site Bodily Injury Claims

Over the past few years insurers have been taking various affirmative steps, such as adding endorsements, to attempt to limit their exposure for bodily injury claims on construction sites (not to mention for property damage). The Eleventh Circuit just provided (for the second time in six months) the...

Insurance Coverage for Wage and Hour Claims

By David A. Gauntlett, Principal, Gauntlett & Associates Litigation contending wage and hour law violations has escalated rapidly in recent years. Virtually every business, especially those in California, is susceptible to claims by an increasingly vigorous plaintiff’s bar, including...

Federal Court Answers The Question : “What Is A ‘Commercial General Liability Insurance’ Policy?”

The issue before the Southern District of Texas in Pac-Van, Inc. v. CHS, Inc., No. 12-341 (S.D. Tex. Mar. 31, 2014) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] -- just what is a commercial general liability insurance policy anyway -- isn’t likely to arise too often. Since this may be...

Only Partially Covered: What You Really Want to Know About Allocation Under Management Liability Policies--But Are Afraid to Ask

By Carrie C. Cope, David Curkovic and Virginia Morris-Ardin This commentary examines allocation issues across the nation in the context of "management liability policies." Such policies are often sold in "packages" combining multiple coverage parts, each of which address a specific...

A Faulty Workmanship—“Occurrence” Case Worth Reading

The title of this article tells you how I feel about the continuous barrage of decisions addressing coverage for construction defects – in particular whether faulty workmanship constitutes an “occurrence” under a commercial general liability policy. I’m not saying that these cases...

CGL Carrier’s Duty To Defend Was Triggered Where Non-Professional Work Was Alleged and, Therefore, the Professional Services Exclusion Did Not Apply to Remove All Possibility of Coverage

North Counties Engineering, Inc. v. State Farm General Ins. Co. , 224 Cal. App. 4th 902 (2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In North Counties Engineering , the California Court of Appeal held that an insurer’s duty to defend its insured under a comprehensive business...

Construction Defects and the Space Between: Gap and Overlap In the Combined Coverage of Performance Bonds and CGL Policies for Construction Defects

By Thomas Rush and David A. Attisani Among other harbingers of a gradually convalescing economy, construction activity is on the rise, and is projected to remain on that trajectory throughout 2014. As a consequence of such growth, there will also be an increase in construction-related loss and...

Newly-Published Regional Steel Case Raises More Questions Than It Answers

California’s Second Appellate District has affirmed a summary ruling that a Commercial General Liability insurer did not have a duty to defend a subcontractor who supplied faulty “seismic tie hooks” that were encased in concrete shear walls. The case is Regional Steel Corporation v...

ISO Pull Up A Stool: Federal Appeals Court Offers A Different Way To, Er, Draft A Liquor Liability Exclusion

A couple of the amendments to the 2013 version of ISO’s workhorse commercial general liability policy (CG 00 01) involve the Liquor Liability exclusion. In general, it has been amended to state that it applies even if the claims against any insured allege negligence or other wrongdoing in the supervision...

"Non-Trivial Probability" of Excess Judgment Obligates Insurer to Pay for Independent Defense Counsel

The court in Perma-Pipe, Inc. v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corporation , Case No. 13 C 2989, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54867 (N.D. Ill. April 21, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], held that a CGL insurer breached its duty to defend by refusing to pay for independent defense...

Why I Don’t Own A Stairmaster

In Landmark American Insurance Co. v. VO Remarketing Corp, No. 13-1386 (D. Colo. June 13, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], a Colorado federal court interpreted the terms “finally delivered” as used in the “auto exclusion” in ISO’s standard...

California Court of Appeal Holds That a CGL Policy’s Coverage for Products Liability Applies Because Food Truck Fell Under “Mobile Equipment” Exception to an “Auto” Exclusion

Am. States Ins. Co. v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am. , 223 Cal. App. 4th 495 (2014), [ enhanced enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In American States , the California Court of Appeal held that the primary purpose of a food truck was to serve as a mobile kitchen and was not to...