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Buyer Beware: Primary and Excess Insurance Coverage is not Always Coextensive By Graham C. Mills

In Haering v. Topa Insurance Company, Case No. B260235 (Feb. 3, 2016), the Second District Court of Appeal examined which provisions of a primary insurance policy were incorporated by reference in an excess insurance policy, and which provisions were not. This question is often significant because excess policies tend to be brief and incorporate by reference the key terms of an underlying primary policy, which is a separate document often written by a different insurer. In theory, when an excess policy incorporates by reference the terms of a primary policy, both policies should work together to provide a continuous layer of coverage for the insured. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

March 29, 2016


Subcontractor Must Pay for General Contractor's Defense, Including its Litigation Mistakes, After Ignoring General Contractor's Tender Under Express Indemnity Provision By Graham C. Mills

A recent decision by the Court of Appeal, Valley Crest Landscape Development, Inc. v. Mission Pools of Escondido (2015) 238 Cal.App.4th 468, reinforces the right of a general contractor to defense and indemnity by a subcontractor when the parties have contractually allocated risk to the subcontractor. To ensure compliance with that right, the Valley Crest court imposed a strong penalty against a subcontractor that defaulted on its obligation.

December 16, 2015


CLM Around the Nation: Employee Error Corrected in Duty to Defend By Graham C. Mills

..."notes made by an insurer's employee are evidence..."

December 15, 2014


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