Archives: Occurrence

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More developments in insurance coverage for construction defects

Back in the days of the environmental insurance coverage wars, we on the policyholder side argued (eventually successfully in New Jersey) that the word “sudden”, as used in the 1973 version of the pollution exclusion, meant “unexpected” and did not have a temporal connotation. My friends in the defense bar often criticized us for trying … Continue Reading

Insurance coverage for construction defects

The ongoing battles over construction defect coverage remind me of the good old days in the ‘80’s and ‘90s when we used to fight over asbestos and environmental coverage claims (we still have some of those claims, but to a much lesser extent). Construction defects even involve battles over the appropriate trigger of coverage!  Ah, … Continue Reading

Insurance Coverage for Alleged Intentional Harm

I’ve sometimes commented on this blog that my first boss in the business warned me: “If you assume there’s no coverage, you won’t find any.” There are plenty of risk managers and brokers who believe that general liability insurance coverage exists primarily to protect against people falling down in the parking lot. Not suprisingly, many … Continue Reading

Construction Defects and the “Your Work” Exclusion

My old law partner Carl Salisbury is on the warpath against carriers’ efforts to escape construction defect coverage.  He has some interesting things to say about a recent pro-carrier South Carolina decision.  You can read Carl’s excellent blog post by clicking here.  (I promise not to call them “business risk” exclusions any more, Carl.)… Continue Reading

When is a “reservation of rights” letter enforceable?

Lawyers and insurance companies are forever reserving their rights.  Sometimes I think it’s a reflex action against ever being forced to take an actual position.  But in the world of insurance coverage, “reservation of rights” letters do serve a function. Insurance companies fear that if they undertake the investigation or defense of a claim, for example, … Continue Reading

Completed operations coverage for construction defects

When I was in grammar school, the class wise guy was a kid named Nicky DeLuca.  One day, we were in gym class, and the coach was trying to teach us the importance of fundamentals in basketball.  “You have to have a strong foundation,” the coach said.  “It’s like building a house.  You have to … Continue Reading

Determining the number of “occurrences”

There’s an old story about famous Greek orators. When Demosthenes would speak, the people would say, “My, what a pretty speech!”  But when Cato would speak, the people would say, “On to Carthage.”  That’s because Cato was a one-issue guy (“Carthage must be destroyed”), and was excellent at convincing his listeners of the need for … Continue Reading

The Explosive “Your Work” Exclusion

A lot has been written lately – both by judges and observers – about the so-called “business risk” exclusions and their applicability to construction defect claims.  (We’ve previously discussed them here, for example.)  Some judges have ruled that faulty workmanship can never constitute a covered “occurrence” under a general liability policy.  Lately, though, more and … Continue Reading

Insurance coverage for cyberliability

At the end of this month (January 26, to be exact), assuming that the Mayans remain incorrect, I’ll be doing a presentation to the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on the topic of insurance coverage for cyberthreats.  Of course, I probably should be disqualified from making any comments whatsoever about trends in computer-related … Continue Reading

The “Eight Corners” Rule and the Duty to Defend

One of the issues that frequently comes up in complicated third-party cases is:  How far outside the underlying complaint does the carrier have to go to determine whether coverage exists?  New Jersey is not an “eight corners” state (in which all the court considers is the four corners of the policy and the four corners … Continue Reading

The timing of an “occurrence” and the duty to defend

Every once in awhile, we come across a case that calls to mind the formal legal term:  “Eeeeww.”  Here’s one that’s now before the New Jersey Supremes, and that (if you can get past the ghoulishness) involves two important questions:   (1)  When does an “occurrence” take place under a liability policy?  (2)  Can a court … Continue Reading