California Court Confirms Broad Coverage Under “Ongoing Operations” Endorsements

December 1, 2017
Kevin C. Brantley - Payne & Fears

A California Court of Appeal has confirmed that additional insured endorsements (“AIE”) granting coverage for liability arising out of a named insured’s “ongoing operations,” and in effect during those “ongoing operations,” do not require that the liability arise while the named insured is performing work. McMillin Mgmt. Servs., L.P. v. Financial Pacific Ins. Co., Cal. Ct. App., November 14, 2017, Case No. D069814.

In McMillin, a construction defect insurance coverage action, Lexington Insurance Company argued that McMillin had no liability to homeowners until after their homes closed escrow; thus, McMillin did not face liability while the named insureds’ work was ongoing. The Court of Appeal rejected Lexington’s argument, finding that the “ongoing operations” AIEs provide only that McMillin’s liability “be ‘linked’ through a ‘minimal causal connection or incidental relationship’ with [the named insureds’] ongoing operations.” (internal citations omitted). The Court reasoned that Lexington had not established that all of the damage in the underlying action occurred after the named insureds completed their work, thus Lexington had not established as a matter of law that there was no potential for coverage for McMillin under the policies.

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