Court of Appeal to Employers: No Coverage for You if Claims Reported Untimely

Westrec Marina Management had a "claims made" insurance policy with Arrowood Indemnity Co.. The policy covered claims reported during the policy period or within 30 days of policy expiration. After receiving a discrimination charge and a demand letter, the employer did not report it to the insurer timely. Arrowood, the insurer, denied the claim. The trial court found in favor of Arrowood and the court of appeal agreed. The court said that Westrec was on notice during the policy period that a "claim" was being made and that Westrec therefore failed to report the claim timely.

So, when you receive a charge, demand letter, etc. and you wish to have insurance coverage, it may be wise to tender to the insurer if there is any doubt about whether the information you have constitutes a "claim."

The case is Westrec Marina Management, Inc. v. Arrowood Indemnity Co., and the opinion is here.