Thursday, August 2, 2012

Second Department Strictly Construes Insurance Policy Language Regarding "Excess" Coverage

In Utica Mut. Ins. Co. v. Geico, the Second Department found that Utica was excess over Geico based upon the following comparison of the respective insurer's policy language.  The Utica policy indicated that it was "excess over, and shall not contribute with any of the other insurance, whether primary, excess, contingent or on any other basis."  By comparison, the Geico policy indicated merely that it was "excess over any insurance," without reference to contribution.  Citing State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v LiMauro (65 NY2d 369, 375-376), the Second Department held that because the Utica policy had expressly negated contribution, whereas the Geico policy was silent in this regard, Utica was excess over Geico.

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