December 5, 2007
Companies under litigation pressure naturally look to their historic insurance assets, reexamining decades of coverage purchased to protect against liabilities that often have their origins in long-ago events. The ever-accelerating pace of merger and acquisition activity, with its attendant disruptions to personnel and information technology (IT) systems, creates daunting challenges for those seeking to piece together the insurance record. In many cases, companies find themselves unable to locate actual policy documents for one or more key policies. In such cases, secondary evidence of coverage often suffices to validate a claim under the lost policy. Courts have regularly upheld the validity of secondary evidence in proving the terms and conditions of historic insurance policies. Secondary evidence can, among other things, consist of one or more documents other than policies themselves that provide evidence regarding the insured’s coverage. This article describes how to find such secondary evidence.