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An Update on the Interpretation of Insurance Policies in the North Carolina Law Insurance Blog on Property Insurance



While researching how Tar Heel State interprets insurance, I came across two helpful sources that describe how the policyholder benefits. The first is a blog post from Merlin's own resident expert on the North Carolina team, Beaujeaux de Lapouyade. You can read her blog post here.

The second is the following set of rules that I found in a well-researched movement:

Insurance policies in North Carolina are interpreted in a more liberal way than what is meant by the usual contract rules.

• Where possible, policies will be interpreted in a way that provides, but never removes, coverage. 1

• Provisions extending the coverage "must be interpreted liberally so that they provide coverage, whenever possible through reasonable construction." 2

• The correct test is what a reasonable person in the position of the insurer would have understood the policy not to mean what the insurer intended. 3

• Exceptions must be interpreted strictly against the insurer. . " 4

•" If such a word has more than one meaning in its ordinary use… It shall be given the sentence most favorable to the policyholder or beneficiary, since the insurance company chose the word for use. . ” 5

•“ It must be remembered that the insurance policy was written by [insurance] the company's lawyers … filled with conditions imposed by persons skilled in learning insurance law. tt and acts in the insurance company's exclusive interest. "Therefore, the policy must be" interpreted liberally in relation to the insured. " 6

• "If the language used in the insurance is reasonably receptive to different constructions, the construction that is most favorable must be given to the insured because the company prepared the policy and chose the language." 7

• “If there are ambiguities in an insurance contract, the fault lies with the insurance company and not with the insurance company. Insured. If the insurance company uses slippery words in its policy, it is not the function of this court to sprinkle sand on the ice through strict construction to help the insurance company. strong language that benefits policyholders. If you have any questions regarding the interpretation of your policy, please contact our team at Merlin Law Group.
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1 Wash. Hous. Auth. v. NC Hous. Auth. Risk Retention Pool 130 NC App. 279, 281, 502 SE2d 626, 628 (1998).
2 State Capital Ins. Co. v. Nationwide Mu t. Ins. Co. 318 N.C. 534, 538, 350 S.E.2d 66, 68 (1986).
3 Joyner v. Nationwide Ins. 46 N.C. App. 807, 809, 266 S.E.2d 30, 31 (1980).
4 Southeast Airmotive Corp. against U.S. Fire Ins. Co. 78 N.C. App. 418, 420, 337 S.E.2d 167, 169 (1985).
5 Wachovia Bank & Tr. Co. against Westchester Fire Ins. Co. 276 N.C. 348, 354, 172 S.E.2d 518, 522 (1970).
6 Barker v. Iowa Mut. Ins. Co. 241 NC 397, 400, 85 SE2d 305, 307 (1955) (with reference to Roberts v. Am. All. Ins. Co. 212 NC 1, 192 SE 873, 875-76 ( 1937).
7 Grant v. Emmco Ins. Co. 295 NC 39, 43, 243 SE2d 894, 897 (1978).
8 Mazza v. Med. Mut. Ins. Co. of NC 311 NC 621, 630, 319 SE2d 217, 223 (1984) (citing Jamestown Mut. Ins. Co. v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. 266 NC 430 , 437-38, 146 SE2d 410, 416 (1966)).


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