“Claims-made policies are common in the professional liability insurance market. They “differ from traditional ‘occurrence’-based policies primarily based upon the scope of the risk against which they insure.” With claims-made policies, coverage is provided only where the act giving rise to coverage “is discovered and brought to the attention of the insurance company during the period of the policy.” In contrast, coverage is provided under an occurrence-based policy if the act giving rise to coverage “occurred during the period of the policy, regardless of the date a claim is actually made against the insured.” “The essence, then, of a claims-made policy is notice to the carrier within the policy period.”
Crowely Maritime Corp. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, 2019 WL 3294003 (11thCir. 2019)
The recent Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal opinion in Crowely Maritime Corp. discussed the distinction between a claims-made insurance policy and an occurrence-based insurance policy. Professional liability policies are generally claims-made policies whereas commercial general liability policies are generally occurrence-based policies. While this opinion does not involve a construction matter, the case did concern the definition of a “claim” in a claims-made policy and whether such claim was timely reported to the insurer within the discovery period / extended reporting period.