It’s not “12 Corners” — Court Holds Answer does not Trigger Duty to Defend

It is a well-known insurance principle that the duty to defend is determined using the “Eight-Corners” method — comparing the four corners of the complaint to the four corners of the insurance policy. A federal court in Illinois recently maintained this principle and declined to extend coverage to an insured based allegations in the insured’s answer, limiting the analysis of the duty to defend only to the facts alleged in the complaint, and not the answer, unless “unusual circumstances” exist.
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Exceptionally Navigating Abstention: Northern District of Illinois Applies the Colorado River Doctrine to Stay Arbitration

An insurer and a policyholder entered into an agreement, or didn’t they? Either way, the Northern District of Illinois doesn’t have to decide because “exceptional circumstances” triggered the Colorado River abstention doctrine, allowing the court to stay the case asking it to determine whether the agreement existed. A policyholder and one of its insurers began having disputes about who had to provide coverage for certain claims. As a result of those disputes, the policyholder and the insurer allegedly entered into
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