The 8 Corners Rule Is Not So Absolute

Law360 (February 28, 2018, 5:31 PM EST) -- In many states, the seemingly fixed “eight-corners rule” determines the insurer’s duty to defend. This well-known and frequently cited rule requires the court to look at the four corners of the underlying complaint and compare the allegations therein to the four corners of the policy.[1] If coverage is unambiguously excluded comparing the two documents, there is no duty to defend — otherwise, the duty to defend is implicated. One court has summarized the insurer’s obligation as follows.

The insurer’s duty to defend suits brought against its...
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