A disclaimer denying coverage sent on behalf of a Liberty Mutual Group unit was sufficient, a federal appeals court held on Tuesday in a confirmation of a lower court decision on behalf of the insurer in disputes focusing on the adequacy of the letter.
In November 2007, Niagara County, New York, contracted with Buffalo-based TGR Enterprises Inc. for a construction project at Niagara County Community College, following Tuesday's decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in County of Niagara et al. v. Netherlands Insurance Co., Excelsior Insurance Co. et al.
T.G.R. received insurance including an umbrella cross-liability insurance issued by Liberty Mutual Unit Excelsior Insurance Co., and designated the county as further insured. The policy included an "Exclusion of Liability for Cars" which excludes coverage of damages or damages caused by "owned cars."
The umbrella policy specified that the words "you" and "your" refer to the named insured as shown in the statements, and any other persons or organizations who qualify as named insured under this insurance, "the decision said. [1
It was upheld by a unanimous panel court with three judges. "We are not convinced," he said. "As the district court found," Disclaimer Letter "expressly identified and discharge coverage" under automatic exclusion. "
In addition, its subject line can only be interpreted as referring to the claim, and although the letter may not have been the address of the county, a copy was submitted to the county's lawyer.
The letter "also" unequivocally "informed the county the reason for denying coverage, the decision said.
The county had also charged the terms" you "and" your "in the automatic exclusion were ambiguous, as it could have referred to either TGR or the county.
"The terms" you "and" your "were explicitly defined" as referring to the TGR, "the decision said, as to the indictment, the terms were ambiguous and confirmed the lower court's decision. ]