Primary vs. Excess Insurance: Priority and Allocation of Coverage

Strafford Publications, Inc.

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DATE: Thursday, September 17, 2015

TIME: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

This CLE webinar will provide insurance counsel with a review of the relationship between primary and excess insurance policies, triggers for coverage by an excess insurer, allocation of liability, vertical vs. horizontal exhaustion of policy limits, and resolving disputes and arguing coverage positions.

Resolving insurance coverage disputes among primary and excess insurers hinges on identifying the point at which the excess insurance policy is triggered when there are multiple parties, contracts and layers of insurance.

How courts resolve exhaustion of policy limits usually depends on whether the jurisdiction follows the pro rata or joint and several allocation rule.  Courts following pro rata allocation tend to apply horizontal exhaustion while courts in joint and several jurisdictions tend to apply vertical exhaustion.

Unique issues arise when the primary settles for less than the policy limits or is insolvent.  The horizontal vs. vertical exhaustion debate is particularly complex in the additional insured (AI) context, with some courts analyzing the policy language while others focus on the contract between the main and AI.

Listen as our authoritative panel of insurance practitioners discusses triggers for excess insurance coverage, reviews vertical and horizontal policy exhaustion, analyzes insurance coverage principles related to triggering excess policies, and outlines best practices for resolving coverage disputes.

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