Construing Insurance Policy Language: Doctrine of Reasonable Expectations, Illusory Coverage and More

Leveraging Policy Interpretation Arguments for Insurers and Policyholders

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


Conducted on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will discuss key rules of insurance policy construction that arise in coverage disputes, including “contra proferentem,” reasonable expectations, regulatory estoppel, illusory coverage and unconscionability. The panel will present issues and arguments from both the policyholder and insurer perspective.

Description

At the crux of many insurance coverage disputes is interpretation of policy language. There are several rules of policy construction that often come into play when arguing application of a particular policy provision regarding scope of coverage and/or coverage exclusions.

One of the more common rules of interpretation is the doctrine of reasonable expectations, which holds that the insurance policy should be construed according to the objectively reasonable expectation of the beneficiary, notwithstanding policy language that appears contrary to coverage.

When a policy provision is allegedly ambiguous, policyholders often argue “contra proferentem,” which holds that ambiguous language must be construed against the insurer as drafter. Other interpretation rules include regulatory estoppel, illusory coverage and unconscionability.

Listen as our authoritative panel of insurance practitioners analyzes the rules of insurance policy construction that most often arise, including “contra proferentem,” reasonable expectations, regulatory estoppel, illusory coverage and unconscionability. The panel will present the issues and arguments from the perspective of both the policyholder and insurer.

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Outline

  1. Doctrine of reasonable expectations
  2. Contra proferentem
  3. Regulatory estoppel
  4. Illusory coverage
  5. Unconscionability

Benefits

 The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What is the scope of the doctrine of reasonable expectations, and can it trump clear policy language?
  • What policy construction arguments are best raised in obtaining coverage when the policy language seems stacked against the policyholder?
  • When will courts allow the use of extrinsic evidence to resolve policy ambiguities?

Faculty

Robert Friedman
Robert Friedman

Principal
Friedman

Mr. Friedman provides corporate insurance counseling to companies in Florida, the Caribbean, New York, and other...  |  Read More

Verne A. Pedro
Verne A. Pedro
Lead Litigation Counsel
Ellis Ged & Bodden

Mr. Pedro's an insurance coverage attorney who represents and counsels clients in complex insurance coverage...  |  Read More

David L. Plaut
David L. Plaut

Partner
Hanna & Plaut

Mr. Plaut’s practice focuses on insurance coverage matters, insurance bad faith litigation, trial and...  |  Read More

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