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Noncumulation and Prior Insurance Clauses: Allocating Liability Among Multiple Policies Triggered by Multi-Year Loss

Application of Noncumulation Clauses in Pro Rata vs. All Sums Jurisdictions

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

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will update insurance counsel on the latest developments in applying noncumulation provisions in CGL policies to deny coverage in long-tail claims. The panel will outline best practices for counsel to insureds or insurers to argue for maximizing coverage or minimizing liability.


One of the most complex issues in insurance coverage disputes involves long-tail claims such as asbestos bodily injury and environmental claims. These claims raise complex questions of how to allocate liabilities among numerous policy years triggered by such losses.

Insurers seek to minimize or eliminate the obligation to pay long-tail claims by arguing that the "prior insurance and noncumulation of liability clause" shifts responsibility for paying for losses that trigger multiple policy years to triggered policies issued before their policy year.

Policyholders argue that noncumulation clauses are ambiguous as a host of unresolved coverage questions arise in attempting to apply such terms to long-tail claims.

Listen as our authoritative panel of insurance practitioners guides you through an analysis of noncumulation clauses in CGL policies and the ways courts have interpreted these clauses.



  1. Background: Interpretation and application of noncumulation clauses
    1. Typical policy language
    2. London version of clause
    3. Triggers of coverage
    4. Allocation
  2. Court interpretations and applications of noncumulation clauses
    1. Pro-rata jurisdictions
    2. All-sums jurisdictions
    3. Reduction, but not the elimination of insurer's payment obligation
  3. Applicable insurance policy interpretation principles
    1. Contra proferentem
    2. Reasonable expectations doctrine
    3. Construction of policy as a whole


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How are triggers of coverage and allocation methods impacted by noncumulation clauses?
  • How have courts in pro-rata vs. all-sums jurisdictions differed in their interpretations and applications of noncumulation clauses?
  • What insurance policy construction principles are applicable in interpreting noncumulation clauses?


Borja, Mary
Mary E. Borja

Wiley Rein

Ms. Borja represents insurers in complex litigation and arbitration involving professional liability, general...  |  Read More

French, Christopher
Christopher C. French

Professor of Practice
Penn State Law School

Professor French teaches contracts, torts, civil procedure and insurance law. He has written and published extensively...  |  Read More

Pastor, Sherilyn
Sherilyn Pastor

McCarter & English

Ms. Pastor is Practice Group Leader of her firm's Insurance Coverage Group. She is an experienced trial...  |  Read More

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