U.S. Circuit Court Finds Limits to Indiana’s Kiger Decision in Federated’s Unambiguous Policy Language

By David A. O’Neill, J.D., Director of Investigations, Policy Find

The question of how broadly the Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling in American States Insurance Company v. Kiger, 662 N.E. 2d 945 (Ind. 1996) can be interpreted was further decided on March 25, 2010 when the United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit reached a decision in the West Bend Mutual Insurance Company v. U.S. Fidelity and Guaranty Company case.  This appellate decision is a caution to those owners and operators of retail gasoline service stations, who have been waiting to have their properties tested for pollutants in reliance on the effect of the Kiger ruling.  They will now be carefully reviewing the pollution exclusionary and definitions clauses in their policies to determine whether the Kiger or West Bend rules apply to their situations.

 In its published opinion, the Seventh Circuit explained its decision to affirm the U.S. District Court’s interpretation of a Federated Mutual Insurance Company umbrella liability policy which had been found to exclude coverage for pollution of neighboring property occasioned by leaking underground gasoline storage tanks. Continue reading “U.S. Circuit Court Finds Limits to Indiana’s Kiger Decision in Federated’s Unambiguous Policy Language”

Reaching Into The Past to Pay

Today’s Environmental Compliance Costs: Insurance Archeology for the Laundry Industry

Written by David A. O’Neill, J.D., Director of Investigations, PolicyFind
Published in Laundry Today Jan 2009

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An increasing number of laundries are striving to heighten their ‘green consciousness.’ Many go above and beyond what is necessary for them to maintain environmentally correct facilities. But sometimes, even with the best intentions, a facility can find itself on the wrong side of compliance based upon the actions of companies who previously operated on the land where they are currently located. Continue reading “Reaching Into The Past to Pay”

Claim Digger

Written by Scott Olson
Published in IBJ Article August 25-31, 2008 Vol 29 No. 25

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Like an archeologist combing through artifacts of the ancient past. O’Neill labors to construct liability insurance policies once considered expired. They often are as valuable as lost treasures-funding expensive environmental investigations or paying product liability defense costs, and ultimately saving corporate and small business policyholders from economic ruin. Continue reading “Claim Digger”

Interview with Steve Henshaw and David O’Neill

David O’Neill & Stephen Henshaw, Edited for continuity and clarity.
Vol. 1, No. 2,Thursday, January 29, 2004

Stephen Henshaw is the founder and President/CEO of EnviroForensics (headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana), the only environmental consulting firm in the country (to our knowledge) that combines environment investigation/engineering/design expertise with insurance coverage and settlement resolution expertise. It is this latter specialty that interested us the most, as over the years the company has carved a niche for itself in the field of insurance archaeology, especially for small to mid-sized businesses. David O’Neill is the company’s chief insurance archaeologist. O’Neill, an attorney, with an insurance background, and Henshaw, in the following interview, gave us a primer on insurance archaeology. Continue reading “Interview with Steve Henshaw and David O’Neill”

Interview with Steve Henshaw and Dave O’Neill Part 2 of 4

USILR: What is the specialized set of tools that insurance archaeologists use

Interview with Steve Henshaw, P.G., President & CEO, EnviroForensics & PolicyFind, and David O’Neill, Director of Investigations, EnviroForensics and PolicyFind

O’Neill: First and foremost, the insurance archaeologist is a researcher. He must pay attention to detail and have strong perseverance. The insurance archaeologist needs awareness of the history of the insurance market; i.e. Lloyd’s development of the first broad-form third-party excess liability coverage forms, the emergence of the comprehensive general liability (CGL) policy in the American market and the revision of the policy forms by the Insurance Rating Bureau (IRB) and later the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO). Continue reading “Interview with Steve Henshaw and Dave O’Neill Part 2 of 4”