In a case involving a dispute arising from a fire at the Wisconsin County Courthouse, a Wisconsin federal court issued an order denying Lexington Insurance Company’s motion to participate in an arbitration between the two insurers primarily responsible for the losses. Lexington argued it was an excess insurer (or reinsurer – the parties disagreed) for the policy issued by the State of Wisconsin Local Government Property Insurance Fund insuring the county. In addition to coverage afforded by the Fund, the county was also insured by Cincinnati Insurance Company for losses to cover machinery and equipment that might not otherwise be covered by the Fund’s policy.
The Fund and the Cincinnati policies included a joint loss agreement (“JLA”) which provided that in the event of a dispute, the insurers would pay half of the disputed amount to their insured, the county, and arbitrate the dispute thereafter. The county took advantage of this provision. Lexington then sought to intervene in the ensuing arbitration, arguing that while its policy did not include a joint loss agreement, it was a follow-form policy which included that provision. The court agreed with Lexington, finding that although the Lexington policy was “a little strange,” it expressly stated it was a follow-form policy to the Fund’s policy and, further, it did not expressly exclude or supersede the joint loss agreement. The court, however, disagreed with Lexington’s view that it was entitled to participate in the arbitration between the Fund and Cincinnati. The joint loss agreement did not apply in this case because it did not apply to Lexington or allow for Lexington’s participation in the arbitration. State of Wisconsin Local Government Property Insurance Fund v. Lexington Insurance Co., Case No. 15-CV-142-JPS (USDC E.D. Wis. Apr. 17, 2015)