By Stephen Raucher and Michael Sohigian
The final year of the decade was generally a good one for policyholders in California courts. The California Supreme Court held that the notice-prejudice rule constitutes a fundamental public policy, and extends to the consent provision in first party policies. Also, in the first party context, the Ninth Circuit overturned summary judgment in favor of an insurer who was relying on "War" exclusions to avoid losses resulting from Hamas rocket attacks. As for third party liability policies, California appellate courts gave an expansive reading to the term "Inappropriate Employment Conduct" under an Employment Practices Liability Policy and refused to find that a "Care, Custody or Control" exclusion precluded additional insured coverage for a general contractor. Finally, 2019 also saw the resolution of several insurer v. insurer disputes, all in favor of more coverage rather than less.
First Party Policies