A Texas Appellate Court recently decided that an excess insurance policy attached even though underlying insurers paid out less than their full policy limits in settlement.  Plantation Pipe Line Co. v. Highlands Ins. Co., No. 11-12-0029 (Tex. Ct. App. Aug. 29, 2014).  The policyholder incurred close to $12 million in environmental cleanup costs and then sought coverage from its liability insurers.  After the policyholder settled coverage with it three underlying insurers for $4.55 million, the policyholder then sought coverage from Highlands.  Highlands provided coverage excess of $8 million in underlying limits.  The policyholder sought coverage only excess of $8 million, arguing that it could fill the gap with its own money between the $4.55 million paid by its underlying insurers and the $8 million attachment point of the Highlands policy.  On Highland’s motion for summary judgment, the trial court denied coverage by ruling that the Highland’s policy only attached after the underlying insurers had paid or been held liable to pay the full $8 million.  On appeal, the Texas Appellate Court revered.  The court reasoned that the language used in the Highlands policy did not require the underlying insurers to have paid their full policy limits prior to the Highlands policy attaching.  Instead, the language unambiguously required only that the underlying insurers, the policyholder or some combination of both had paid or been held liable to pay the $8 million in underlying limits.  According to the Court, this interpretation of the language also prevented a conflict between other policy provisions.