Gilbert, Larry H. Multiple Assureds: Does the Wrongdoing Of One Affect
the Rights Of All? International Association of Arson Investigators. Annual
General Meeting, Auckland, New Zealand, May 9-May 14, 1993.
Abstract: This article discusses the question of whether the claims
of an innocent assured should be denied because of the illegal acts performed
by another assured. One opinion is that insurance companies should not make
payments when any assured listed on the policy is guilty of criminal acts
that caused damage or loss to the insured property. The other opinion takes
into consideration the hardships faced by assureds who are really innocent.
This article presents cases that have ruled on these issues.
There have been court cases that have decided in both opinions. In Rankin
v. North Waterloo Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, the Judge ruled that
the 16 year old boy knew what he was doing when he set fire to his parents
home. The judgement was in favor of the insurance company, which included
in its policy that the insured would not be covered if the loss was caused
by a criminal act committed by a person covered by the policy. The case
was overturned by a higher court that stated insurance companies have separate
obligations for each assured so innocent assureds are not affected by wrongful
acts of those covered under the same policy. The article discusses other
court cases that have ruled on similar issues.
For more information, contact:
International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI)
300 Broadway Suite 100
St. Louis, MO 63102-2808