Insurance

“Arising Out of” is Not the Functional Equivalent of “Proximately Caused by”

The NY Court of Appeals, construing language of an insurance endorsement, has held that the endorsement terms established a proximate cause standard. In the process, the court reiterated that a proximate cause standard is narrower than the phrase “… Read More
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Unsigned Contract = No Proper Insurance Coverage

File this one under “Oops.” The unsigned contract meant that the contractual liability exclusion in the subcontractor’s insurance policy would control, since there was no obligation “assumed in a contract or agreement . . . [where the claim]… Read More
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It Doesn’t Pay to Lie – Insurance Edition

The sad part about decisions abrogating insurance coverage, based on misrepresentations by the insurance applicant, is that innocent third parties often suffer from the lack of coverage. A recent Pennsylvania decision provides one more example. The J… Read More
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Indemnities, and Establishing Priority of Multiple Insurance Policies

Contractor lent a vehicle to a sub, and the sub’s employee caused a fatal accident. The subcontract had an indemnity in favor of the contractor. Five insurance policies were in play: (1) sub’s auto policy, (2) sub’s GL, (3) sub’s umbrella, (4… Read More
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GL Exclusion for Liability Insured Under a Wrap-Up? Ambiguous.

Per a federal court, a GL exclusion that refers to a “wrap-up” is ambiguous, so the carrier’s request for summary judgment against coverage was denied, and the plaintiffs’ corresponding request to establish coverage was allowed. The underlyin… Read More
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How Do Additional Insured Obligations Work with Subcontract Flow-Down Clauses?

They don’t. Unless the subcontract is carefully drafted, that is. So where the prime contract required the owner to be named as an additional insured, and the subcontract flow-down clause passed along the GC’s obligations to the owner, as the sub… Read More
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Equitable Subrogation Claim Limited by Outcome of Insured Party Lawsuit

A carrier pursuing a subrogation claim has no better rights than its insured. This may seem elementary and logical, but a New York court has had to remind one carrier of this standard. The abutter to a construction project made an insurance claim for… Read More
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Damaged Tower Crane Was Not Covered by Builder’s Risk Policy

Readers may recall photos of a dangling tower crane boom after Hurricane Sandy passed through New York City in October 2012. The New York Court of Appeal has just issued a decision, ruling that damage to the tower crane is barred by the “contractor… Read More
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Waiver of Subrogation: How Broad Is It?

Many contractors believe a waiver of subrogation clause protects them from any effort by the owner’s property or builder’s risk carrier to recover damages covered by that insurance. As a federal court decision emphasizes, the protection afforded… Read More
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Generic Reservation of Rights Letters Are Inadequate Notice of Coverage Issues

A common practice in reservation of rights letters has been heavily criticized by the South Carolina Supreme Court. In fact, the court rejected a generic reservation of rights letter. It stated: “It is axiomatic that an insured must be provided suf… Read More
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About Stan Martin

Stanley A. Martin's Profile Image
Stan Martin holds a law degree and an undergraduate degree in architecture. He has been involved with the construction industry for more than 45 years, working in construction prior to law school and beginning his construction law practice. Over the course of his career, he has served on boards and committees for organizations including the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts, the Boston Society of Architects, and the Massachusetts Building Congress.

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