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Silver Lake Legal

Construction, Insurance & Business Attorney Boston

Allocating Costs When Lots of Policies Are Triggered

How should indemnity obligations be allocated when a liable insured company has had a series of different insurers offering coverage over the years?  Deciding that the rule announced by the SJC in Boston Gas controlled, the trial judge dismissed the declaratory judgment complaint, and in a recent case the Massachusetts Appeals Court agreed in a case brought by  New England Insulation against one of its insurers Liberty Mutual. 

Issue – When multiple policies are triggered – how much each carrier should pay to satisfy its coverage obligations?

Holding –pro rata allocation among carriers during times when coverage applied and, for periods when there was no coverage available, the (then uninsured) company is responsible itself. Boston Gas announced a pro rata method for allocating damages among multiple insurers; it rejected a joint and several idea.

In asbestos cases, and in cases of progressive environmental damage, it is both scientifically and administratively impossible to allocate to each policy the liability for injuries occurring only within its policy period.


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Charles W. Cobb

Attorney at Law


320 Nevada Street Ste 301,

Newton MA 02460




(978) 979-1223

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