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BT Policyholder Protection Blog
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26 Jun 2017 Get Smart About Additional Insured Endorsements: Beware of the Proximate Cause Standard Recently Adopted in New York

  Businesses that give or receive “additional insured” endorsements may want to learn about a recent decision from the New York Court of Appeals.   Imagine this hypothetical scenario: Maxwell LLC hires Smart Corporation to do some excavation on Maxwell’s property. As required by their contract, Smart buys a commercial general liability (CGL) policy from Chaos Insurance Company with a standard endorsement saying that Maxwell is an additional insured with respect to injury or damage “caused, in whole or in part” by Smart’s acts or omissions. Maxwell doesn’t tell Smart that an electrical cable is buried in the excavation area, and Maxwell doesn’t turn the power off. Smart hits the live cable, and the ensuing explosion damages a nearby building owned by Control, Inc. Control…

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23 Sep 2014 (E)stop, Hey, What’s That Sound? Insurers Get What’s Going Down

  For what it’s worth, a fight between insurance companies can sound like music to a policyholder lawyer’s ears. It’s really fun to hum along when a major insurer tries to use a classic policyholder tactic against another insurer. Two recent disputes between insurers involved the Illinois estoppel rule, which generally bars an insurer from contesting its duty to indemnify after it has breached its duty to defend. The insurance companies most definitely were not singing in harmony.   What can policyholders learn from these insurance company vs. insurance company internecine disputes? In both cases, insurance companies actually said that it is correct to estop an insurance company from raising coverage defenses. Keep that thought in your back pocket the next time an insurance company…

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25 Jul 2014 Recent Changes in Insurance Status Affects Companies Seeking Additional Insured Status

  For those companies that are seeking additional insured status, keep in mind that there have been major changes in how that insurance status is written. The Insurance Services Office, the drafter of many “standard form” insurance policies and endorsements, has been paring back coverage for additional insureds for many years.  It rolled out major overhauls to its standard form additional insured endorsements recently.  Insurance companies, too, have been tightening their own company forms, to the extent that they don’t use the ISO forms.   This area of insurance has evolved substantially over the years.  As one commentator has noted: “Twenty years ago, additional insured endorsements came in two flavors:  The short form and the long form.  Today there are more flavors than found in Baskin-Robbins…

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16 Jul 2014 Insurance and indemnity issues arising out of AIA form agreements and contracts.

  On July 14, 2014, Charlie Edwards gave a presentation on indemnity and insurance issues for architects to the Indianapolis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).  The presentation covered indemnity and insurance issues arising out of the standard AIA form agreements. It also covered insurance issues related to construction projects, such as additional insured status and forms, insurance implications of “flow-down” provisions in construction contracts and waivers of subrogation.   If you missed the presentation and would like to obtain copies of the materials, or have any questions on these topics, email Charlie Edwards.   Charles EdwardsCharles P. Edwards is co-chair of the firm’s Policyholder Insurance Recovery and Counseling Practice Group, which exclusively represents policyholders in insurance claims and litigation. Mr. Edwards has worked with a…

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29 Apr 2014 General Contractor Held Not to Have Coverage as Additional Insured for Damage Arising Out of its Subcontractor’s “Completed Operations”

  The language contained in policy endorsements dramatically impacts the scope of coverage for additional insureds. In a recent decision, Carl E. Woodward, LLC v. Acceptance Indemnity Insurance, _____ F.3d ____ (5th Cir. 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overruled the district court’s determination that a general contractor was insured as an additional insured on its subcontractor’s commercial general liability (CGL) policy for claims arising out of the allegedly defective work performed by the subcontractor.   The case arose out of a project to build condominiums on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The general contractor entered into a subcontract for concrete work and was named as an additional insured on the concrete subcontractor’s CGL policy. The subcontractor worked on the project from…

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