CGL Contractual Liability Coverage: Navigating the Scope of the Liability Exclusion and its Exceptions

Advocating Coverage Positions for Policyholders and Insurers

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide counsel with a review of contractual liability coverage in CGL policies, the scope of the exclusion for contractual liability and the exception to the exclusion. The panel will discuss the historical analysis of the exclusion and the impact on commercial contractual liability and the interplay with contractual indemnification and additional insured provisions.


Contractual liability through indemnification and hold harmless provisions is common in a wide variety of commercial contracts. What is meant by “liability assumed by contract” has been the topic of considerable litigation with varied outcomes.

While the contractual liability exclusion excludes liability assumed in a contract or agreement, coverage often hinges on the exception to the exclusion for liability assumed in an “insured contract” and liability the insured would have had even in the absence of a contract.

Many jurisdictions have addressed whether the contractual liability exclusion includes a breach of contract claim. The majority view holds that breach of contract claims based on the insured’s negligence are not “assumed” liabilities and do not fall within the contractual liability exclusion.

Listen as our authoritative panel of insurance practitioners analyzes the trends in interpreting CGL contractual liability coverage, the scope of the policy exclusion and the exception to the exclusion. The panel will discuss recent case law developments and the interplay of CGL contractual liability coverage and contractual indemnification and additional insured provisions.



  1. Overview of the contractual liability exclusion
  2. Historical CGL and ISO form changes
    1. What is an “insured contract”?
    2. Scope of the contractual exclusion
    3. Exception to the exclusion
  3. Analysis of recent case law
    1. Majority view
    2. Minority view
  4. Interplay with contractual indemnification and additional insured provisions


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What types of contractual agreements fall within the definition of an “insured contract”?
  • What is the majority view of the scope of the contractual liability exclusion and its applicability to liability arising from a contractual agreement?
  • What is the interplay between contractual liability coverage and indemnification and additional insured provisions?


Kroeger, David M.
David M. Kroeger

Jenner & Block

Mr. Kroeger is a litigator and Co-Chair of the firm’s Reinsurance Practice. He provides counsel on a variety...  |  Read More

Sorenson, Kristine M.
Kristine M. Sorenson

Walker Wilcox Matousek

Ms. Sorenson focuses her practice on insurance coverage analysis and litigation. Her litigation experience includes...  |  Read More

Taubenfeld, David
David Taubenfeld

Haynes & Boone

Mr. Taubenfeld represents policyholders in every kind of dispute they may have with their insurers. He represents...  |  Read More

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