In continuing with our look at active shooter coverage and what may or may not be covered by our general liability policy, the next step in any insurance analysis, once we’ve determined that the event falls within the insuring agreement, is to analyze the policy exclusions.
In this case, insurers may not be obligated to defend and indemnify the insured, if the policy contains an assault and battery exclusion endorsement. An example of this type of endorsement would be:
It is agreed that no coverage shall apply under this policy for any claim, demand or suit based on Assault and Battery and Assault and Battery shall not be deemed an accident, whether or not committed by or at the direction of the insured.
Another example is:
We have no duty to defend or indemnify any insured or any other person against any claim or suit for bodily injury, property damage, personal injury or advertising injury, including claims or suits for negligence arising out of or related to any:
- Harmful or offensive contact
This exclusion applies regardless of fault or intent. Coverage is also excluded for any injury or damage committed while using reasonable force or acting in self-defense. For purposes of this exclusion, negligence includes but is not limited to claims for negligent:
As the endorsements apply to the Aurora shooting, if the policy contained an assault and battery endorsement, it would eliminate any coverage for any claims that may be made.
In cases where assault and battery is excluded by the policy, a number of insurers now offer a separate coverage endorsement for claims arising out of assault and battery.
Such endorsements usually offer a separate and lesser limit of liability for those events, than the typical general liability limits found in a policy. If a policy contains an assault and battery coverage endorsement, the endorsement would likely provide the sole means of coverage.
Unfortunately for the victim or victims, this coverage will almost certainly have far lower limits than the standard CGL limits.
Having completed what we’ve already looked at and having determined that coverage indeed exists, the next thing to look at is the number of “occurrences”, under the insurance policy, for the purposes of the policy’s “per occurrence” and “aggregate” limits.
This is where we’ll pick it up next time! Remember, this coverage is relatively new and not found everywhere. If you are interested in getting your company this coverage, be sure to contact your independent insurance agent for the most current available selections and the best price for that coverage.