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“Arising Out Of” Language Given Broad Reading In New York

July 6, 2010

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In <i>Hunter Roberts Construction Group v. Arch Insurance Co.</i>, a panel of the New York Appellate Division reversed a decision of the trial court and granted summary judgment in favor a contractor that was named as an additional insured under a subcontractor’s insurance policy. The policy provided coverage to the additional insured for any liability arising out of the named insured’s work.
An employee of the named insured, an electrical subcontractor, tripped and fell in a hole in the floor while walking to the field office to get some equipment. The court held that, because the plaintiff was an employee of the named insured and was injured during the course of his work, the accident arose out of the named insured’s work and coverage was owed to the additional insured. This is true even if the named insured was not at fault or negligent in any way.
The court then noted that a four-month delay in disclaiming coverage was unreasonable as a matter of law even if the carrier was “investigating” the circumstances of the loss. The court noted that the burden was on the carrier to establish that the investigation was necessary.
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