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BT Policyholder Protection Blog
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18 Jul 2014 Unmanageable Risk – An Unintended Consequence of Self-Insured Retentions

A Self-Insured Retention, or SIR, as it is commonly known as, represents the amount of risk that a company is prepared to retain for its own account. It denotes the point at which the risk passes from the company, as self-insurer, to a professional insurer.  Typically, retention layer losses – those losses that remain with the company – are not catastrophic so as to impact the company’s ability to remain a going concern.  As such SIRs have been used by companies for decades as effective risk management tools.   A recent decision out of the Eastern District of California potentially turns this risk management principle on its ear.  In Evanston Ins. Co. (Evanston) v. North American Capacity Ins. Co. (NAC), the court required a contractor…

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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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12 May 2014 Clifford Shapiro presents “The Next Wave of ‘Occurrence’ Disputes”

On May 7, Clifford Shapiro spoke before more than one hundred attendees at the second annual meeting of the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC) held in Chicago.  Tom Mielenhausen is also a member of the ACCEC, and he also attended the conference. Clifford’s topic was insurance coverage for construction defect claims.  Among other things, he presented an update on the 50 state survey of the “occurrence” issue, and a summary of recent state statues that have been enacted to attempt to resolve this thorny issue.  The ACCEC’s brochure summarized the presentation: This presentation will discuss the history and analysis of the “occurrence” issue in the construction defect claim context. This issue has divided the courts across the country. The presentation will also include…

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29 Apr 2014 NEWS ALERT: Alabama Supreme Court Withdraws and Re-Issues Decision to Find “Occurrence” for Construction Defect Claim

Last September, the Alabama Supreme Court issued a decision that denied insurance coverage to a homebuilder on the ground that there can be no “occurrence” where construction defect claims do not allege property damage to something other than the home the policyholder built. Owners Insurance Co. v. Jim Carr Homebuilder LLC, 2013 Ala. LEXIS 122, 2013 WL 5298575 (Ala. Sept. 20, 2013). In that decision, the court did not analyze the policy language to distinguish between damage to the insured’s project (which it held did not constitute an “occurrence”) and damage to other property or other parts of the structure (which it held could constitute an “occurrence”).   On March 28, 2014, the Alabama Supreme Court withdrew its earlier decision and issued a new decision…

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