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National Liability And Fire Insurance Company

Understanding Your Liabilities When It Comes To Subcontractors

More than 50 complaints on insurance companies have been filed since Marshall Fire

While these subcontractors dont necessarily need to be covered under your liability insurance, you do need to make sure that everyone working on the project is covered by some kind of liability insurance. The reason for this is because if the subcontractor that you hire damages the customers home, you are going to be liable for the damages. Just imagine if you are remodeling a master bedroom and the client decides that she wants heated floors.

If you hire a contractor that specializes in radiant flooring and they end up destroying the customers property in the process, you are going to be held liable since you hired them. However, if the subcontractor that you hired is covered under his or her own policy you wont have to worry about the damages. Either way, making sure that the individual is covered one way or another is absolutely pertinent for protecting yourself and your business.

Notice To California And Massachusetts Applicants And Insureds

The following company information pertains to Commercial Casualty Insurance Company , Berkshire Hathaway Direct Insurance Company , National Liability & Fire Insurance Company , and Wellfleet New York Insurance Company the insurers that issue most of the policies sold by biBERK. You are being provided this information pursuant to Sections 702 and 703.1 of the California Insurance Code, as amended, and Massachusetts Division of Insurance Bulletin 2001-02. The listing of an insurance company in this notice shall not constitute a representation or guaranty that coverage will be provided by CCIC, BHDIC, NL& F, WNYIC or any of its affiliates, or that such insurer are authorized to offer a particular type of insurance product or coverage in a state. Insurance coverage may not be available in all states. The following is provided for informational purposes only, as required by state insurance statutes.

CCIC, a Berkshire Hathaway Co., is domiciled in Indiana and is licensed to transact business in the following states:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, DC, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin.

Commercial Casualty Insurance Company maintains its principal place of business at 5814 Reed Road Fort Wayne, IN 46835.

B National Liability’s Motion For Summary Judgment As To The Duty To Indemnify Is Denied As Premature

The duty to indemnify is separate from the duty to defend, and “the existence of one does not necessarily depend on the existence or proof of the other.” D.R. Horton-Texas, Ltd. v. Markel Int’l Ins. Co. , 300 S.W.3d 740, 745 . However, it is often “necessary to defer resolution of indemnity issues until after the underlying third-party litigation is resolved because coverage may turn on facts actually proven in the underlying lawsuit.” Id. see alsoGuideOne , 197 S.W.3d at 310 Willbros RPI, Inc. v. Constr. Cas. Co. , 601 F.3d 306, 313 .

Here, Court understands that the underlying lawsuit that gives rise to this litigation remains pending in Texas state court, so the operative facts that will control the duty to indemnify have not yet been established. Accordingly, the Court denies as premature National Liability’s Motion for Summary Judgment as to the duty to indemnify. SeeBurlington Ins. Co. v. JC Instride, Inc. , 30 F. Supp. 3d 587, 598 . The denial of National Liability’s Motion for Summary Judgment as to the duty to indemnify is without prejudice to refiling. SeeWFG Nat’l Title Ins. Co. v. Pinnacle Premier Properties, Inc. , No. CV H-14-0842, 2014 WL 12537168, at *6 .

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Understanding General Liability Insurance

Most contractors that carry general liability insurance make the assumption that the work done by a subcontractor is covered under their own general policy. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. While there are a lot of insurance providers that offer specialized policies and plans, there are some that exclude subcontractors from general liability insurance coverage. It is important for you to always know what your insurance company covers, because you are the one that could be held financially accountable. This is why it is very important to understand why contractors need insurance for their business in the first place as there is a reason behind why most small Ontario construction companies dont work with subcontractors unless they carry their own general liability insurance.

If you are ready to apply for a CGL for your construction business, please request a quote and get in touch with a licensed insurance broker.

Other frequently asked questions before buying insurance:.

What You Can Do To Protect Yourself And Your Company

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As a contractor there are a variety of different methods and techniques that you can undertake to ensure that you are always protected at all times. One of these methods is to ensure that all the subcontractors like glass installers& glass & metal technicians that you hire are protected by their own insurance policies. Never be shy about including this in your contracts, as it could potentially save your business. Just remember that you can always check your subcontractors coverage by asking to see an up-to-date copy of the subcontractors Certificate of Liability Insurance. Of course, there are situations when it might not be feasible for the subcontractor to get adequate coverage.

In these situations, adding the subcontractor to your own personalized policy covers you in all situations. When you add a subcontractor to your policy, it ensures that you cover them for the work that they perform under your license and only under your license. This pretty much means that you wont be liable for any mistakes that they make, while they are working under someone else.

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Are Subcontractors Covered Under Contractors Insurance

It can be, but often is not covered by a standard policy

Whether you are in the new construction or a veteran in the Ontario province, there are a lot of times when you might need the expertise of a subcontractor. With that being said, you never want to discover that the subcontractor isnt covered under an insurance policy after an incident takes place. If you are hiring a subcontractor, it always pays to make sure that your policy will cover the third party in advance. Otherwise you might end up getting sued or left holding some expensive medical bills. So, does that mean that the subcontractors need to acquire their own insurance policy or are they covered under your basic contractors policy?

What Coverage Did The Insurer Sell

National Liability and Fire Insurance Co., as the name implied was a specialty and commercial policy provider. National Liability and Fire Insurance Co. was a commercial insurer specializing in commercial vehicles, business insurance, and such specialty coverage as garage policies. Even though National Liability & Fire Insurance is no longer in existence, the policies it carried are still available through National Indemnity Co. and underwritten by the same insurer that has backed those policies for decades: Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the owner of GEICO.

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The Northfield Exception Does Not Apply Because It Is Initially Possible To Determine That Coverage Is Implicated

Although National Liability contends that the issue of whether the vehicle Penna was driving at the time of the accident “qualified as a temporary substitute pursuant to the Policy’s terms” does not “overlap with the merits of the Underlying Lawsuit or engage the truth or falsity of any substantive facts bearing upon liability,” the facts demonstrate otherwise. Dkt. No. 57 at 3 . The First Amended Petition in the underlying lawsuit alleges that the “vehicle in question was being used temporarily by John Young in his catering business, Rio Concho Catering, Inc., as a substitute for one of his permanent vehicles that was being repaired or serviced at the time of the incident in question.” Dkt. No. 33-3 at 3. The policy provides for the coverage of any “auto” that the insured “do not own while used with the permission of its owner as a temporary substitute for a covered auto you own that is out of service because of its: a. Breakdown b. Repair c. Servicing d. Loss or e. Destruction.” Dkt. No. 33 at 4. Thus, it is initially possible to determine that the First Amended Petition implicates the policy’s coverage for a “temporary substitute for a covered auto. ” Cf.Interstate Fire & Cas. Co. v. S. Tank Leasing, Inc. , No. CIV.A. H-10-4908, 2012 WL 1231738, at *5 .

Ii The Only Recognized Exceptions To The Eight

Standard Fire and Special Perils policy from National Insurance

The eight-corners rule is “a settled feature of Texas law.” Richards v. State Farm Lloyds , 597 S.W.3d 492, 499 . In its Motion for Summary Judgment, National Liability relied heavily on a district court’s proposed exception to the eight-corners rule that would allow district courts to consider extrinsic evidence where the policy does not include an express agreement to defend claims that are “groundless, false or fraudulent.” See Dkt. No. 42 at 810 see alsoRichards , 597 S.W.3d at 495 ). The Texas Supreme Court held that the omission of groundless-claims clauses does not give rise to an exception to the eight-corners rule. Richards , 597 S.W.3d at 495. Thus, the omission of a groundless-claims clause from the insurance policy that is at issue here cannot support an exception to the eight-corners rule.

The Fifth Circuit, interpreting Texas law, has periodically applied an exception to the eight-corners rule when “it is initially impossible to discern whether coverage is potentially implicated ” and “the extrinsic evidence goes solely to a fundamental issue of coverage which does not overlap with the merits of or engage the truth or falsity of any facts alleged in the underlying case.” Id. at 49697 ). But while the Texas Supreme Court has acknowledged the Northfield exception, that court has never addressed the exception. Richards , 597 S.W.3d at 49697 see alsoZurich Am. Ins. Co. v. Nokia, Inc. , 268 S.W.3d 487, 497 .

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I The Text Of The Insurance Policy And The Text Of The First Amended Petition In The Underlying Lawsuit Implicate Coverage

Under Texas law, where “the four corners of a petition allege facts stating a cause of action which potentially falls within the four corners of the policy’s scope of coverage, the insurer has a duty to defend.” Liberty Mut. Ins. Co. v. Graham , 473 F.3d 596, 600 accordGuideOne Elite Ins. Co. v. Fielder Rd. Baptist Church , 197 S.W.3d 305, 308 . There is no duty to defend where all the facts alleged in a petition fall outside the policy’s scope, but the Court must “resolve all doubts regarding duty to defend in favor of the duty.” Graham , 473 F.3d at 600 accordNat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. v. Merchants Fast Motor Lines, Inc. , 939 S.W.2d 139, 141 .

Application of the eight-corners rule to this case is therefore straightforward. The First Amended Petition alleges that the vehicle Penna was driving at the time of the accident was a temporary substitute auto within the meaning of the insurance policy. National Liability has not identified any applicable exclusion within the policy’s text, and the Court has not located any such exception. Thus, the First Amended Petition implicates the policy’s coverage. See Graham , 473 F.3d at 602.

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Iv The Court Gives Notice Under Federal Rule Of Procedure 56 That The Court Will Consider Whether To Grant Summary Judgment To The Defendants As To The Duty To Defend

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 authorizes the Court to grant summary judgment to a nonmovant after giving “notice and a reasonable time to respond.” See alsoCelotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 326, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 .

Although the defendants here have not moved for summary judgment, the Court is not aware of any genuine dispute of material fact that would preclude the Court from granting summary judgment to the defendants as to the duty to defend. Thus, pursuant to Rule 56‘s notice requirement, the Court orders National Liability to file a response by June 12, 2020. The response shall detail any reason why the Court should not grant summary judgment in favor of the defendants as to the duty to defend given that the Court has rejected National Liability’s interpretation of the insurance contract and the eight-corners rule. SeeO’Connor v. Atherio, Inc. , No. 3:16-CV-01731-B, 2018 WL 2739037, at *2 .

The Exception For Collusive Fraud By The Insured Does Not Apply And National Liability’s Allegations Of Gamesmanship Do Not Alter The Result

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This case does not fit within the framework of the narrow exception to the eight-corners rule that the Texas Supreme Court recently carved out in Avalos. There, the Texas Supreme Court held that “an insurer owes no duty to defend when there is conclusive evidence that groundless, false, or fraudulent claims against the insured have been manipulated by the insured’s own hands in order to secure a defense and coverage where they would not otherwise exist.” S.W.3d at , 2020 WL 2089752 at *3. But here, National Liability does not allege that the insuredJohn Young or Rio Restaurant Groupconspired to manipulate a groundless, false, or fraudulent claim against National Liability. Rather, National Liability attacks the alleged “gamesmanship of the underlying plaintiffs in amending their original petition after this coverage action was filed.” Dkt. No. 57 at 4. Moreover, National Liability lacks “conclusive evidence” that any manipulation occurred. S.W.3d at , 2020 WL 2089752 at *3. Thus, the Avalos exception does not apply here.

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Ny Residents Only: Domestic Violence Notice

New York Insurance Law Section 2612 provides important protections for victims of domestic violence. New York Insurance Law Section 2612 prohibits an individual, insurer, or entity supervised by the Department of Financial Services, from the following actions based solely because a person is or has been a victim of domestic violence: refuse to issue or renew, deny, or cancel any insurance policy or contract demand or require a greater premium or payment from any person designate domestic violence as a preexisting condition, for which coverage will be denied or reduced fix any lower rate or discriminate in the fees or commissions of agents or brokers for writing or renewing such a policy or using as an underwriting criterion the fact that a person is or has been a victim of domestic violence.

The law further provides that if any person covered by an insurance policy issued to another person as the policyholder delivers to the insurer that issued the policy, at its home office, a valid order of protection against the policyholder, issued by a court of competent jurisdiction in New York, the insurer shall be prohibited for the duration of the order from disclosing to the policyholder the address and telephone number of the insured, or of any person or entity providing covered services to the insured. If a child is the covered person, then these rights may be asserted by the childs parent or guardian.

Order Denying National Liability’s Motion For Summary Judgment


Before the Court is National Liability and Fire Insurance Company’s Motion for Summary Judgment. Dkt. No. 42. In this declaratory-judgment action, National Liability asks the Court to issue a judgment that National Liability has no duty to defend or indemnify the defendants in connection with an underlying state-court lawsuit arising out of a tragic car accident. Under Texas law, the eight-corners rule governs whether an insurer has a duty to defend an insured in an underlying lawsuitcourts may consider only the text of the insurance policy and the text of the pleading in the underlying lawsuit. The Court finds that the First Amended Petition in the underlying lawsuit implicates coverage under the eight-corners rule and that National Liability has not identified any applicable exception to the rule. Because the defendants have not moved for summary judgment, the Court will afford National Liability an opportunity to respond before the Court considers whether to grant summary judgment to the defendants on National Liability’s duty-to-defend claim. Additionally, judgment with respect to the duty to indemnify would be premature. Thus, the Court denies National Liability’s Motion for Summary Judgment.

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Who Really Needs Subcontractors Insurance

In a lot of situations, a subcontractor is hired to complete a project. This can be especially true when it comes to the construction industry. There are so many different aspects like flooring, drywall, electrical and heating and airthat require a contractor with specialized knowledge and appropriate licensing. Maybe you have the knowledge and skills to build a room or a home, but just dont have the expertise to install the heating and air system? This is when you might have to turn to a heating and air specialist to complete the project. In situations like this, it is imperative that you ensure that the heating and air techs are covered under some sort of contractors insurance policy or you might end up in serious legal trouble. Anyone working in the construction industry in the Ontario province needs to make sure that they and the subcontractors they hire are covered under their own contractors insurance policy or are added to the hiring partys policy.


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