Viking Pump’s Legacy: Virginia Court Holds “All Sums” Approach Applies to Excess “Quota Share” Layer Where Underlying Coverage was Exhausted

A federal judge in Virginia held the New York Court of Appeals decision in In re Viking Pump, Inc., 27 N.Y.3d 244 (N.Y. 2016) allowed for an insurer to apply an “all sums” allocation and seek the full limits of excess insurance policies — that formed part of a multi-year “quota share” layer — in a single year, without first establishing that the claims constituted a single loss or occurrence that is covered in whole or in part under another
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NY’s Highest Court Holds “Unavailability Exception” Unavailable for Pro Rata Allocation

Policyholders must pick up the tab for pollution claims in years when insurance was unavailable for those risks, the New York Court of Appeals ruled on March 27, 2018. In the closely-watched case KeySpan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Reinsurance Am., Inc., the first-impression ruling decisively decided the applicability of the “unavailability” rule in policies that mandate pro rata allocation in the context of continuous environmental contamination and other “long-tail” claims implicating many policy periods. Under standard pro-rata allocation, the
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A Divided Court Finds Additional Insured Coverage is Enforceable Across New York

On March 27, 2018, the New York Court of Appeals, in a matter of first impression for the state’s highest court, held that a direct contract was required to confer automatic additional insured status under common policy language. Gilbane Bldg. Co./TDX Constr. Corp. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 143 A.D.3d 146 (1st Dep’t 2016), aff’d, __N.Y.3d__, 2018 WL 1473553 (Mar. 27, 2018). Many standard blanket additional endorsements often confer additional insured status on entities “with whom” the
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