The Supreme Court of Connecticut recently interpreted a “related” claims provision and a self insured retention (“SIR”) endorsement in a professional liability insurance policy in a manner that maximized coverage.  Lexington Ins. Co. v. Lexington Healthcare Grp., Inc., 84 A.3d 1167 (Conn. 2014) (en banc).  Following a deadly fire at a nursing home on property leased by the policyholder, the insurer sought to limit the amount of professional liability coverage available for thirteen negligence actions seeking damages for wrongful death or serious bodily injury on behalf of the fire victims.  In declining to reduce coverage, the court held that the claims did not allege “related medical incidents” and, therefore, a separate per medical incident coverage limit applied to each fire victim.  The court reasoned that the policy term “related” was ambiguous in the context and, thus, construed the term in favor of coverage.  Although each claim arose from “a common precipitating factor” (i.e., the fire), the claims were not unambiguously “related” because they alleged “distinct losses to different individuals” and each loss was caused by different alleged negligent acts, errors or omissions by the policyholder, as each victim was “differently situated in terms of his or her proximity to the fire and resultant smoke, access to an exit, and personal health and mobility issues.”  The court also held that the policy SIR did not reduce the limits of liability because the policy’s SIR endorsement was ambiguous to the extent it provided that the limits of liability “will be reduced by the payment of damages and expenses paid within the [SIR].”  The provision was triggered by “payment” and did not account for the policyholder’s insolvency.  In addition, the endorsement “purported to be” a SIR provision but “attempted to retain for itself the advantageous reduction in liability limits associated with a deductible.”  The court held that “such a hybrid approach is readily susceptible to confusion” and construed it in favor of the policyholder.