No Excess Insurance Drop Down When Primary Goes Belly Up

Law360, New York (January 13, 2016, 2:41 PM EST) -- Louis H. Kozloff

Colin B. Willmott Excess and umbrella insurers have cause for concern when an underlying primary insurer is insolvent. This problem often presents itself in long-tail asbestos and environmental claims under pre-1990s policies because of the many insolvencies caused by exposure to these claims. The cause for concern is the risk that a court will require an excess insurer to “drop down” and provide coverage that should have been provided by the now-insolvent primary insurer. An unanticipated drop down that was not contemplated when issuing an excess policy is an anathema to an excess insurer. Excess insurance is designed...

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