Illinois Court: Multi-year Policy Limits Put On Entire Policy Period, Not Yearly, And Payments For Potentially Covered Claims Established Exhaustion


An Illinois trial court lately addressed the problem of whether some insurance company exhausted its boundaries of liability in having to pay nearly $90 million to have an insured’s defense and indemnity connected with asbestos bodily injuries claims.  CNA issued umbrella and excess insurance to Borg-Warner Corporation and contended the occurrence limits of their multi-year policies put on the whole policy periods and were exhausted.   Certain excess insurers and also the insureds could not agree.  They stated the insurance policy limits were annualized (meaning an additional $70 million in limits) which CNA unsuccessful to exhibit its payments were claimant-specific as well as for covered claims throughout the policy periods.  A legal court agreed with CNA and located that CNA’s policy language confirmed the policy limits put on the whole policy period and never to every one year area of the multi-year policy period.  The trial court also discovered that the surplus insurers couldn’t “second-guess CNA’s settlement decisions” being an excess insurer doesn’t have the authority to challenge exhaustion of underlying insurance by substituting its very own analysis or policy needs to have an underlying insurer’s settlement decisions.  A legal court held that CNA had presented evidence creating that it is payments were created for “potentially covered” claims, that was sufficient to determine exhaustion.  A legal court also found it had become cost effective for CNA to allocate payments horizontally on the pro rata basis to any or all umbrella policies.  The court’s order in Continental Cas. Co. v. BorgWarner Corporation., 04 CH 01708 (Circuit Court of Prepare County, Illinois) are available here.



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