By Kitti Peters, The Reschini Group
You may believe that your insurance coverage is so comprehensive, so all-encompassing, that no matter what set of circumstances may arise, you are properly protected.
This assumption, like most assumptions, probably is not accurate.
For example, in a recent ruling in federal court, a major national insurer will not be required to cover a $2.8 million judgment that an injured worker secured against a tree trimming company. The judge ruled that a policy exclusion for injuries stemming from the use of equipment mounted to a vehicle clearly bars coverage.
A worker at the tree-trimming company suffered injuries after a 63-foot-fall from a boom lift attached to a truck. A commercial automobile liability policy that was issued to the company by the national insurer contained an exclusion for damages “arising out of the operation, maintenance, or use of any equipment” mounted to a vehicle. The tree-trimming company said the incident qualified for coverage nonetheless, arguing that certain terms in the provision were ambiguous, but the judge disagreed, writing that “[T]he court finds that the undisputed facts fall squarely within the exclusion.”
The federal judge remained unswayed by the tree-trimming company’s contentions, concluding that the exclusion applies under the plain meaning of the disputed terms because the worker’s injuries resulted from damage to the boom lift mounted to the company’s truck.
Millions of dollars in damages could have been avoided for the much more reasonable investment into the proper insurance coverage. (The damages themselves probably wouldn’t have been avoided, but they might have been covered with the proper insurance). No contingency can ever be truly excluded from consideration. Even if you think your coverage is adequate, it’s well worth the time and effort to find out for sure – and to see if more needs to be done.
The professionals at The Reschini Group can help you get a comprehensive picture of your insurance profile. Contact us at 724-349-1300 to set up a time to discuss this important topic.
There will always be exceptions. Accept them, and make sure you’re protected in case they occur.
Copyright 2016 The Reschini Group
The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only. To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.