On July 27, 2020, in the case of Mt. Hawley Ins. Co. v. AKI Renovations Group, Inc., (Sup. Ct. NY Co. 2020), Index No. 159421/2017 (unpublished), the trial court issued an Order granting summary judgment permitting rescission of a CGL policy based upon material misrepresentations in a policy application. The insured submitted an application in which it failed to disclose its demolition operations despite specific questions seeking this information. Mt. Hawley issued a primary and excess policy for the period of December 29, 2016 to December 29, 2017 (collectively, the policy).
Subsequently, the insured sought coverage for a claim in which it was alleged that the insured was acting as a general contractor for demolition of a three-story building when the plaintiff was injured. The insurer advised the defendants that it was rescinding the policy ab initio, and also returned defendants’ premium in its entirety. The insurer asserted that it would not have issued the policy had defendants disclosed their demolition operations, then filed the coverage action seeking a judicial declaration ratifying its rescission of the policy.