Construction Defect Journal Archives

Not So Unambiguous: California Court of Appeal Finds Coverage for Additional Insured

October 11, 2017
Malcom Ranger-Murdock - Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.

California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal recently determined that manuscript additional insured endorsements (AIEs), which purportedly provided coverage for ongoing operations only, were ambiguous. The court also found the insurer that issued the policies, American Safety Indemnity Co. (American Safety), acted in bad faith due to its systematic efforts to deny coverage to general contractors as additional insureds.

In Pulte Home Corp. v. American Safety Indemnity Co.,1 Pulte Home Corporation (Pulte Home), a general contractor, sued American Safety for failure to defend Pulte Home as an additional insured in connection with two underlying construction defect lawsuits. American Safety contended that it did not have a duty to defend Pulte Home because the loss occurred after the construction project was complete and the applicable AIEs did not provide coverage for completed operations, and/or because the policy’s faulty workmanship exclusions applied. The trial court awarded $1.4 million in compensatory and punitive damages to Pulte Home, and American Safety appealed.

Mr. Ranger-Murdock may be contacted at mrm@sdvlaw.com



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