Among 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.
Continue Reading Thinking About Exceptions and Alterations to the Insured vs. Insured Exclusion