The insured vs. insured exclusion is a standard exclusion in most management liability insurance policies. The exclusion precludes coverage for claims brought by one insured against another. The IvI exclusions in most management liability insurance policies typically include a number of exceptions to the exclusion preserving coverage for claims that otherwise would be excluded. In a recent decision, a Texas intermediate appellate court found that the IvI exclusion in an investment management firm’s policy did not preclude coverage for an arbitration award because the underlying dispute arose out of an employment practices claim and therefore the dispute – including even the derivative claims the claimant asserted in the arbitration – came within the exclusion’s coverage carve-back for wrongful employment practices claims. As discussed below, the court’s opinion has a number of interesting features.
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A standard exclusion found in most private company directors and officers insurance policies precludes coverage for claims brought by one insured against another insured – the so-called Insured vs. Insured exclusion. The exclusion typically includes several coverage carve-backs preserving coverage for certain types of claims for which the exclusion would otherwise preclude coverage. One relatively standard coverage carve-back preserves coverage for claims brought by a former director or officer after the individual’s service to the company terminated. While the inclusion of this type of coverage carve-back is fairly standard, the wording of the carve-back can and sometimes does vary in ways that can significantly affect whether or not coverage is available for particular claims.

In a December 13, 2017 decision (here), Central District of California Dean D. Pregerson concluded that an underlying dispute between a former director and his former company did not fall within the coverage carve-back to the Insured vs. Insured exclusion in the company’s D&O insurance policy and therefore that there was no coverage under policy for the underlying claim. The decision highlights the importance of the specific language used in the coverage carve-back.
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sixth circuit1The Insured vs. Insured exclusion is a standard provision found in most D&O insurance policies. As its name implies, the exclusion precludes coverage for claims brought by one insured against another insured. The exclusion is a frequent source of coverage disputes, particularly in the bankruptcy context,  due to frequent disagreements over the exclusion’s application to claims brought against company management by representatives of the creditors or of the bankrupt estate. One recurring dispute of this type is the question of the exclusion’s applicability to claims brought against company management by the company as debtor-in-possession. A recent appellate question considered a variation of this question – that is, whether the exclusion precluded coverage for claims brought against company management by the trustee of a liquidation trust as an assignee of the company as debtor in possession. In a June 20, 2017 opinion (here), the Sixth Circuit (applying Michigan law) held that the exclusion precluded coverage for the liquidation trustee’s claim. The appellate ruling raises some interesting issues, discussed below.
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ndcalAmong the terms and conditions typically found in a D&O insurance policy is the so-called “Insured vs. Insured” exclusion, which precludes coverage for claims brought by one insured against another insured. The exclusion often figures in D&O insurance coverage disputes, as I have frequently noted on this blog. While the exclusion broadly precludes coverage for an entire category of claims, the exclusion often also has exceptions that preserve coverage for certain types of claims that would otherwise be excluded.

In a recent case in the Northern District of California, a D&O insurance policyholder tried to argue that the underlying claim came within one of the standard coverage carve-backs typically found in this type of exclusion, a provision preserving coverage for derivative claims. In a September 26, 2016 order (here), Northern District of California Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr., applying California law, held that the Insured vs. Insured Exclusion applied to preclude coverage and that the underlying lawsuit did not come within the coverage carve-back. The parties’ dispute and the court’s ruling provide a useful backdrop to think about the exclusion and alternative wordings that are sometimes available in the marketplace.
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nystate3On June 19, 2014, in a case involving so many unusual coverage issues that it seems more like a law school exam question than an actual coverage dispute, New York (New York County) Supreme Court Judge Melvin Schweitzer, applying New York law, granted summary judgment for the former directors of the bankrupt Lyondell Chemical Company