Horizontal vs. Vertical Exhaustion of Insurance: Priority of Coverage and Settlement for Below Policy Limits
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM PST
Anna M. Perry, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.
Scott M. Seaman, Hinshaw & Culbertson
Insurance counsel face challenging issues in accessing excess coverage when multiple policies, issued to a single insured, provide coverage to a single claim.
Sometimes issues arise when a loss extends over several years and several sequential policies. In this case, questions may arise as to whether the primary coverage exhausts horizontally or vertically: in other words, whether the insured has to exhaust one primary policy or all primary policies before excess coverage becomes available.
Sometimes issues arise when the insured settles a claim with its primary carrier for less than the policy limits. Tapping the excess policies in these situations requires close attention to the policies' language and the rapidly evolving law in this area.
Resolving these insurance coverage disputes hinges on understanding the policy language, the contracts between the parties, and the relationship between the primary and excess insurers who may be called on to respond to the loss.
Listen as our authoritative panel of insurance attorneys discusses vertical and horizontal insurance coverage principles, triggering excess policies, and resolving issues with the excess carrier when the primary carrier settles for less than the policy limits.
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