Home Page The Publication The Editor Contact Information Insurance Key issues Book Subscribe


Vol. 11 - Issue 5

October 15, 2022


Queen Elizabeth II And Insurance Coverage


With Queen Elizabeth’s death getting ’round the clock news coverage, it was inevitable that, at some point, I would wonder if Her Majesty had ever found her way into a coverage decision.  I did.  And she has. 

In Northwest Steel Erection Co. v. Zurich American Ins. Co., No. 07CV3184 (D. Neb. Jan. 18, 2018), the parties duked it out (no pun intended; well, actually, that was intended) over coverage under a builder’s risk policy.  And, ironically, the court called upon the legendary royal for assistance in interpreting the English language.  At issue was the following policy provision:

“Any action or proceeding against the Company for recovery of any loss under this policy will not be barred if commenced within (12) twelve months after the OCCURRENCE becomes known to the Named Insured unless a longer period of time is provided by applicable statute.”

The court describe the insurer’s argument as follows:

“Under the plain wording of the policy, an action will not be barred if brought within 12 months after the occurrence becomes known. Zurich’s contention that this language supersedes the applicable statute of limitations, by providing that an action will be barred if not brought within 12 months of a known occurrence, is fallacious.”  (emphasis in original).

And here’s where the court crossed the Atlantic for guidance:

“Zurich’s argument is a logical fallacy known as ‘denying the antecedent.’ (For example: If Queen Elizabeth is an American citizen, then she is a human being. Queen Elizabeth is not an American citizen. Therefore, she is not a human being.).”

God bless the Queen, who will forever be in our lives – or at least our pockets -- each time we get one of those pesky Canadian pennies in change.




Website by Balderrama Design Copyright Randy Maniloff All Rights Reserved