Allocating Defense Costs Among Multiple Insurers and Between Covered and Uncovered Claims

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1 Presenting a live 90-minute webinar with interactive Q&A Allocating Defense Costs Among Multiple Insurers and Between Covered and Uncovered Claims Methods of Allocation Among Insurers and Allocation to Insured for Uncovered Claims or Policy Periods WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, pm Eastern 12pm Central 11am Mountain 10am Pacific Today s faculty features: Louis H. Kozloff, Partner, Goldberg Segalla, Philadelphia Jeffrey L. Schulman, Managing Member, The Law Offices of Jeffrey L. Schulman P.C., New York, NY The audio portion of the conference may be accessed via the telephone or by using your computer's speakers. Please refer to the instructions ed to registrants for additional information. If you have any questions, please contact Customer Service at ext. 10.

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5 July 29, 2015 Allocating Defense Costs Among Multiple Insurers and Between Covered and Uncovered Claims Louis H. Kozloff (267) Jeffrey L. Schulman (212)

6 Introduction Allocation 101 Dividing Responsibility Among Insurers or Between Insurers and Policyholders When? Coverage under multiple insurance policies from different insurers Covered and uncovered Claims Claim involves periods when no coverage is available to the insured 6

7 Introduction Allocation 101 How Do Claims Trigger Multiple Policies CGL Policy Language: Policy covers all sums/those sums the insured becomes obligated to pay as damages for property damage or bodily injury that occurs during the policy period. Injury caused by an occurrence including continuous and repeated exposure to substantially the same conditions. When does the injury occur? 7

8 Allocation Among Insurers Coverage Exists Under Multiple Insurance Policies Concurrent Coverage claim triggers coverage under multiple policies in effect at the same time. Consecutive Coverage claim triggers coverage in multiple years when different policies were in effect. 8

9 Concurrent Coverage Claim Involves a One-Time Event Multiple Policies in Effect at the Same Time are Triggered Policies Apply at the Same Level (Not Primary and Excess) Example: Personal and Commercial Auto policies apply to an accident 9

10 Consecutive Coverage Occurrence or Injury Takes Place Over a Number of Years and Policy Periods Latent Injury Claims - Pollution, Toxic Tort, Asbestos claims under occurrence based CGL policies Insurance Policies in Effect When Injury Takes Place are Triggered 10

11 11

12 Example Pollution Claim Consecutive Coverage Company stores waste water in unlined holding pond for 20 years Pollution leaks continuously and contamination spreads Example Asbestos Claim Plaintiff is exposed to asbestos during entire 20 year period of employment Diagnosis of mesothelioma years later 12

13 Trigger of Coverage Rules Exposure Theory Trigger policy in effect when claimant or property was exposed to the injury-causing conditions Insurance Co. of America v. Forty-Eight Insulations, Inc., 633 F.2d 1212 (6 th Cir. 1980) Exposure can be one-time or repeated event Spill or one-time exposure to defective product Repeated seepage of pollution or multiple year exposure to product 13

14 Manifestation Theory Trigger of Coverage Rules Trigger policy in effect when the injury first becomes apparent or is discovered Eagle-Pitcher Industries, Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., 682 F.2d 12 (1 st Cir. 1982). Typically results in one policy year being triggered 14

15 Trigger of Coverage Rules Actual Injury / Injury-in-Fact Theory Trigger policy in effect when the damage or injury actually occurs. American Home Products Corp. v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., 748 F.2d 760 (2d. Cir. 1984). Can lead to multiple policies being triggered when new injuries occur over time Difficult or impossible to identify time of actual injury 15

16 Trigger of Coverage Rules Continuous Trigger or Triple Trigger Trigger all policies in effect from the time of first exposure to the time of manifestation. Keene Corporation v. Ins. Co. of N. America, 667 F.2d 1034 (D.C. Cir. 1981). Results in multiple policies being triggered. 16

17 Allocation Methods If Multiple Policies are Triggered, Allocation Methods Determine How Costs are Divided Two Approaches Joint and Several / All Sums Pro Rata Allocation 17

18 Joint & Several / All Sums No Allocation from the policyholder s perspective Policyholder can pick and choose triggered policy Triggered policy is liable to pay all sums covered up to policy limits. 18

19 Joint & Several / All Sums Joint & Several / All Sums Pennsylvania J.H. France Refractories Co. v. Allstate Ins. Co., 626 A.2d 502 (Pa. 2003) California Aerojet-General Corp. v. Transport Indem. Co., 948 P.2d 909 (Cal. 1997) Delaware Hercules Inc. v. AIU Ins. Co., 784 A.2d 481 (Del. 2001) 19

20 Joint & Several / All Sums All Sums vs. Those Sums 1986 ISO Policy form changed to provide coverage for those sums the insured is legally obligated to pay for injury covered by the policy. Does change in wording defeat joint & several allocation? Thomas Inc. v. Ins. Co. of North America, 11 N.E.3d 982 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014) 20

21 Joint & Several / All Sums Approach Contribution Among Triggered Insurers Triggered insurer s obligation to policyholder is joint and several But triggered insurer can obtain contribution from other triggered insurers Contribution leads to allocation 21

22 Pro Rata Allocation Obligation to provide coverage is divided among the triggered policies 22

23 Pro Rata Allocation Policy provides coverage for injury that occurs during the policy period During the policy period limits All Sums or Those Sums When injury occurs over time, only some of the injury and some of the damages occur during the policy period 23

24 Pro Rata Allocation Difficult or impossible to determine what injury occurred during a particular policy period. Pro Rata Allocation provides for an equitable division of costs among triggered policies. 24

25 Pro Rata Allocation Different Methods of Pro Rata Allocation Equal Shares Pro Rata Time on the Risk Pro Rata by Limits Pro Rata Time on the Risk Plus Limits New Jersey Owens Illinois, Inc. v. United Ins. Co., 650 A.2d 974 (N.J. 1994); Carter Wallace Inc. v. Admiral Ins. Co., 712 A.2d 1116 (N.J. 1998). 25

26 Allocation of Defense Costs Duty to defend can be divided among triggered policies. In most instances, allocation method that is used for indemnity also applies for allocation of defense costs. Allocation among insurers in joint & several states There are reasons to treat allocation of defense differently from indemnity 26

27 Concurrent Policies Equal Shares Pro Rata by Limits Allocation of Defense Costs 27

28 Consecutive Policies. Allocation of Defense Costs Pro rata time on the risk Pro rata time on the risk plus limits Should policy limits be considered allocation of defense costs? Contribution Among Insurers in Joint & Several / All Sums Jurisdictions Allocation used to divide costs among insurers 28

29 South Carolina Allocation of Defense Costs Sloan Construction Co. v. Central Nat l Life Ins. Co., 236 S.E.2d 818 (S.C. 1977) Auto-Owners Ins. Co. v. Travelers Cas. & Surety Co., 2014 WL (D.S.C. July 22, 2104) Joint and Several with no contribution from other triggered insurers Unintended Consequences? 29

30 Allocation of Defense Costs for Periods of Non-Coverage What happens when an insured does not have coverage for a certain period of time during the trigger period: When periods of no insurance reflect a decision by an actor to assume or retain a risk, as opposed to periods when coverage for a risk is not available, to expect the risk-bearer to share in the allocation is reasonable...insurers whose policies are triggered by an injury during a policy period must respond to any claims presented to them and, if they deny full coverage, must initiate proceedings to determine the portion allocable for defense and indemnity costs. Owens-Illinois, Inc. v. United Ins. Co., 138 N.J. 437 (1994) 30

31 Two Primary Issues Resulting in Potential Period of Non-Coveage What happens during periods of blue sky? What happens to coverage issued by now-insolvent insurers? 31

32 Allocation Between Covered and Non-Covered Losses Most CGL policies obligate the insurer to defend or advance defense costs in connection with a potentially covered claim. Absent an allocation provision in the policy, most courts hold an insurer to a reasonably related standard: The insurer must pay defense costs reasonably related to a potentially covered claim, even if the defense costs were also useful to the insured s defense of a potentially uncovered claim. See, e.g., Continental Cas. Co. v. Bd. Of Ed. Of Charles Cnty., 489 A.2d 536 (1985); Safeway Stores, Inc. v. Nat l Union Fire Ins. Co., 64 F.3d 1282 (9 th Cir. 1995). 32

33 Allocation of Defense Costs Under D&O Policies Directors and Officers Coverage The 30,000 Foot View ( D&O ) Allocation is the defense costs and settlement/judgment/indemnification amounts that an insurer pays upon the filing of a lawsuit against its insured involving a combination of: Covered and uncovered claims; and/or Covered and uncovered parties. 33

34 Most lawsuits filed against individual directors and officers are also filed against the corporation. Resulted in significant disputes over how to allocate defense costs between claims against individuals and claims against the uninsured entity. The birth of Side C or entity coverage The insurer agrees to reimburse the entity for liability arising out of a defined group of claims filed directly against the corporation. 34

35 Example of Side C Coverage: This policy shall pay the Loss of the Company arising from a: (i) Securities Claim first made against the Company, or (ii) Claim first made against the Directors or Officers during the Policy Period.... If there is entity coverage for a particular claim, there is no need to allocate defense costs because both the individuals and the entity are covered under the policy. 35

36 Allocation Between Insured and Uninsured Liability Some policies require the insurer and the insured to use best efforts to determine a fair and proper allocation. The larger settlement rule Was a settlement made larger by the wrongful actions of uninsured persons? The relative exposure test An allocation of fault based on the degree to which the respective parties contributed to the injuries in the underlying litigation. 36

37 Reimbursement of Defense Costs Defense provided under reservation of rights Combination of covered and non-covered claims; or Facts to determine whether indemnity coverage exists need to be established Reservation of the right to recover defense costs if there is no coverage 37

38 Reimbursement of Defense Costs Does an Insurer Have a Right to Recover Defense Costs Incurred Defending Under ROR? Does the policy create the right? Can the right be created or reserved in an ROR? 38

39 Reimbursement of Defense Costs Right Created by Policy Language Duty to pay covered loss Loss includes defense costs Exclusions that apply upon adjudication of facts triggering the exclusion The insurer will defend any suit alleging the excluded conduct and wrongful acts not otherwise excluded until there is a judgment against or final adjudication against any Insured with respect to the excluded conduct, at which time the insured must defend the suit at its own expense and shall reimburse the Insurer for Claim Expenses. 39

40 Reimbursement of Defense Costs Without right in the policy, can insurer recover defense costs from the insured? Yes No Buss v. Superior Court, 939 P.2d 766 (Cal. 1997) American & Foreign Ins. Co. v. Jerry s Sports Ctr., Inc., 2 A.3d 536 (Pa. 2010) General Agents Ins. Co. of Am., Inc. v. Midwest Sporting Goods Co., 828 N.E.2d 1092 (Ill. 2005) 40

41 Reimbursement of Defense Costs Response to Midwest Sporting Goods: ISO Form (Illinois) 41

42 Reimbursement of Defense Costs Arguments For Reimbursement If court finds no duty to defend, insured was not entitled to a defense. Unjust Enrichment ROR creates implied-in-fact contract with right to reimbursement Offer and acceptance Promotes insurers providing a defense in cases where coverage is in dispute 42

43 Reimbursement of Defense Costs Arguments Against Reimbursement A duty to defend exists when claim is potentially covered No contractual right to reimbursement Right to reimbursement cannot be created by unilateral ROR 43

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