The Underwriter’s Role Against Contra Proferentem

Law360, New York (January 10, 2012, 1:51 PM EST) -- The doctrine of contra proferentem — literally translated to mean “against the party who proffers” — is a rule of construction that insureds seek to apply in many, if not most, disputes over the interpretation of an insurance policy.

Whether in claim-settlement negotiations or litigation, insureds often invoke this rule of construction as if it were an impenetrable position that entitles them to victory if they can conjure more than one interpretation of a policy provision.

Although once a more onerous rule of construction, courts have...
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