A federal court in Oklahoma granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer, holding that a policy’s use of the terms “contractor,” “remodeler” and “handyman” without definitions does not create an ambiguity where the policy clearly excluded coverage for anything beyond “Remodeling: rated as Handyman.” Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) PLC v. David’s Construction, Inc., 2015 WL 9273952 (E.D. Okla. Dec. 18, 2015), on appeal to 10th Circuit.
The insurer filed suit for declaratory judgment that no coverage existed under a policy issued to a construction company for damages allegedly caused by the insured in the construction of a new home. The insurer argued on summary judgment motion that the policy was limited to remodeling or handyman work but did not cover new construction. The insured maintained that the policy covered all contracting work. The policy included a “Combination Endorsement,” which provided in pertinent part a “Classification Limitation,” stating “[t]his insurance does not apply to … ‘property damage’ … arising out of those operations or premises which are not classified or shown on the Commercial General Liability Coverage Part Declarations, its endorsements or supplements.”
The policy unambiguously defined the insured’s work as “Remodeling” as “Handyman,” and the court found that the fact that the policy also referred to the insured as a contractor did not extend coverage for claims based on new home construction.