I have long believed and said that the typical professional liability and D&O liability insurance policy contractual exclusion written with the broad “based upon, arising out” preamble sweeps too broadly and precludes coverage for the very kind of claims for which policyholders buy the insurance. The Seventh Circuit has now said what I have long been saying; the appellate court found that the contractual liability exclusion in an E&O insurance policy renders coverage under the policy “illusory” and therefore the policy must be reformed to match the policyholder’s “reasonable expectations.” I hope everyone involved in the professional liability and D&O liability insurance industry will take the time to familiarize themselves with this recent decision. I also hope this decision means the end of contractual liability exclusions using the broad “based upon, arising out of” preamble.
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eleventh cuircuit sealIn an unpublished October 5, 2015 opinion (here), the Eleventh Circuit, applying Florida law, held that a D&O insurance policy’s contractual liability exclusion precluded coverage for negligence claims asserted against persons insured under the policy. The contract exclusion was written with a broad “based upon, arising out of” preamble wording. As discussed below, the decision highlights concerns about the use of the broad preamble in D&O insurance policies’ contractual liability exclusion. An October 28, 2015 post on the Wiley Rein law firm’s Executive Summary Blog about the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling can be found here.
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riA recurring D&O insurance question is whether or not a policy’s contract exclusion precludes coverage for claims that the insured induced the claimant into entering a contract through negligent or intentional misrepresentations. In a interesting December 22, 2014 opinion (here), District of Rhode Island Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., applying Rhode Island

floridaIn an October 20, 2014 opinion (here), Middle District of Florida Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr., applying Florida law, entered summary judgment for a D&O insurer, holding that the insurer was not liable for the stipulated judgment its insured had entered because the policy’s broad contractual liability exclusion precluded coverage for the underlying

idaho2In a March 20, 2014 decision involving interpretation of the interrelated wrongful acts provision and of the contractual liability exclusion in a bank professional liability insurance policy, District of Idaho Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush entered summary judgment on behalf of the policyholder, ruling that the underlying dispute was covered under the policy’s lender liability

In a decision that gives broad effect to a D&O insurance policy’s contractual liability exclusion, on August 17, 2012, Middle District of Pennsylvania Judge William Nealon granted the insurer’s motion for summary judgment, holding under Pennsylvania law that the insurer had no obligation to defend or indemnify the policyholder in the underlying action. A copy

A liability insurance policy is not intended to provide policyholders a means to shift to the insurer their separate, voluntarily undertaken contractual obligations. Private company D&O insurance policies generally embody this principle in a separate exclusionary provision. However, the wording of the exclusionary clause can substantially affect the scope of coverage otherwise available under the