Reiterating that Massachusetts law requires the insured to bear the burden of demonstrating that a claim falls within a policy’s affirmative grant of coverage, the First Circuit affirmed an award of summary judgment to a Canadian reinsurer in an action in diversity brought by an American insurer seeking indemnification of amounts incurred in defending its insured against asbestos-related claims. The court parsed through three years of insurance and reinsurance policies, endorsements thereto, as well as the flow of premium payments, to find corroborative of the parties’ intents both the plain language of the documents and extrinsic evidence, including premium payments and the existence of only an initial-year facultative certificate. The court held that the reinsurance arrangement that existed in the first policy year terminated at the end of that year. OneBeacon Am. Ins. Co. v. Commercial Union Assurance Co. of Canada, No. 11-2072 (1st Cir. July 11, 2012).
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Seek reinsurance with care: the reinsured bears the burden of proving coverage
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