Commercial General Liability – “An Act of God is not necessarily a defense to liability.”

A father and daughter were travelling in their car during a severe wind storm when a large tree fell and crushed the roof of their vehicle, killing the father.

The tree that fell was located on land owned by the insured, which was being developed for an apartment complex. An argument has been made that the insured was negligent in its development of the land and the wind wouldn’t have caused the tree to fall without that negligence. The value of the claim is estimated at $3 million, given the loss of consortium claims of the wife, two surviving young children and the economic loss to the estate.

The case is pending, but in this case, the insurer may be able to recover from its casualty facultative policy because it purchased an excess of loss reinsurance certificate from Berkley Re Direct.

Products and services are provided by one or more insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Not all products and services are available in every jurisdiction, and the precise coverage afforded by any insurer is subject to the actual terms and conditions of the policies as issued.

For additional information concerning W.R. Berkley Corporation’s insurance company subsidiaries, click here.

Liquor Liability – “How liable is a furnisher of alcohol for a patron’s subsequent actions?”

The insured owned a recreational vehicle parking area with a restaurant that could be rented for functions.

The plaintiff was parked on the premises and was assaulted by one of the guests at the restaurant. The guest admitted that he was intoxicated at the time of the incident and was subsequently arrested and pled guilty to 4th degree assault. The plaintiff demanded $250,000 from the insured for pain and suffering. Alcohol was served by employees of the insured at the wedding reception so, while the assailant was primarily responsible for the injuries, the insured also had potential exposure if the patron was served while visibly intoxicated. The insurer settled this case for $40,000.

However, because the insurer purchased a casualty facultative coverage from Berkley Re Direct, it was able to recover a portion of this loss.

Products and services are provided by one or more insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Not all products and services are available in every jurisdiction, and the precise coverage afforded by any insurer is subject to the actual terms and conditions of the policies as issued.

For additional information concerning W.R. Berkley Corporation’s insurance company subsidiaries, click here.

Umbrella Excess Liability – “When reinsurance can significantly limit your exposure.”

The insured driver was involved in a single car at-fault accident. She was driving home with a passenger and attempted to pass another vehicle.

However, her car went off the road, striking a road sign, clipping railroad tracks and rolling, before coming to a rest on its roof. The insured vehicle was a total loss. The insured driver sustained a ruptured spleen, fractured ribs and bruised lungs. The passenger sustained a broken femur, fractured pelvis, fractured hip socket, multiple burns that required skin grafts, and was air-lifted from the scene of the accident. The case settled for $1.25m.

Fortunately for this insurer, it purchased excess casualty facultative coverage from Berkley Re Direct and was able to recover some of its losses under this policy.

Products and services are provided by one or more insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Not all products and services are available in every jurisdiction, and the precise coverage afforded by any insurer is subject to the actual terms and conditions of the policies as issued.

For additional information concerning W.R. Berkley Corporation’s insurance company subsidiaries, click here.

Excess of Loss – “When Less is Not More”

The insured installed foam insulation at the plaintiff`s building. It was determined that the wrong thickness of insulation was installed and the subsequent removal and replacement cost approximately $500,000.

Suit was filed to recover the costs, alleging breach of contract and negligence. The case went to trial and the plaintiff was awarded a total of $1,958,067.19 (including compensatory damages, interest and attorney fees). A settlement was ultimately reached for $1.1 million.

The insurer was able to recover a portion of this loss because it purchased an Excess of Loss reinsurance certificate from Berkley Re Direct.

Products and services are provided by one or more insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Not all products and services are available in every jurisdiction, and the precise coverage afforded by any insurer is subject to the actual terms and conditions of the policies as issued.

For additional information concerning W.R. Berkley Corporation’s insurance company subsidiaries, click here.

Excess of Loss – “Assault at a Nightclub”

The claimant alleged that, while in the bathroom of the insured’s nightclub, she was assaulted by the insured’s employees.

The insured advised that the claimant was unconscious in a stall and when an employee went into the stall to check on her safety, the claimant awoke and became violent. The employee then restrained the claimant and allegedly struck her. The Assault & Battery sub-limit applied to the reinsurance coverage and the insurer was able to recover a portion of this loss because it purchased an Excess of Loss reinsurance certificate from Berkley Re Direct.

Products and services are provided by one or more insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Not all products and services are available in every jurisdiction, and the precise coverage afforded by any insurer is subject to the actual terms and conditions of the policies as issued.

For additional information concerning W.R. Berkley Corporation’s insurance company subsidiaries, click here.

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