Unreasonable Expectations: New Jersey Appellate Court Rejects Commercial Insured’s Reliance Solely on Policy’s Declarations Page

Key Takeaways:

  1. New Jersey courts have been increasingly reluctant to extend the protections of the reasonable expectations doctrine to commercial insureds
  2. In addition to making the usual policy-based arguments, an insurer facing a coverage action in New Jersey based on the reasonable expectations doctrine should be sure to challenge the sufficiency (or lack) of evidence presented by the insured with respect to its actual expectations of coverage
  3. New Jersey courts will consider extrinsic evidence to assess whether an insured’s claimed expectations are objectively reasonable

Further …

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Denied Times Two: Prejudicial Late Notice and Contractual Limitation Period Both, Separately, Doom First Party Claim

Finding the prejudice from the insured’s late notice was manifest, a federal district court in Connecticut dismissed, with prejudice, a first-party coverage action brought by an insured against her homeowners’ insurer, Allstate Insurance Company. Ruling that the insured’s reporting of the claim to the insurer 14 months after the loss was a material breach of the policy’s notice provision that prejudiced the insurer, the court also concluded that the insured’s action was separately barred by the policy’s 18-month suit limitation provision. See Discuillo v. Allstate

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