Ask an Expert

QUESTION:

We have a client who rented a home for a commercial shoot. The shoot was over two days, after the shoot the owner noticed several areas of damage after the shoot.

The Insurer wants to apply a separate excess to each item of damage located. We have reviewed the wording to see if this as per the policy and note the following definitions:

"Excess" - means the sum shown in the Policy Schedule, this Policy or an endorsement to this Policy which You must pay in respect of each Occurrence or event giving rise to a claim.

"Occurrence" - means an event, including continuous or repeated exposure to substantially the same general conditions, which results in Personal Injury and/or Property Damage neither expected nor intended.

Given the definition of "Occurrence" includes continuous or repeated exposure to substantially the same general conditions, could it be interpreted that the “Event” is the filming at the home and general movement of equipment during filming which resulted in the unexpected property damage and only one excess be applied?


Crossley Gates replies:

Assuming there is a connection between the events, then the definition of "occurrence" probably applies meaning only one excess applies.

However, the excess clause applies "in respect of each occurrence or event giving rise to a claim". the alternative "or event" is a problem as each separate incidence of damage is an event. You could argue this is a drafting error because adding "or event" renders the benefit of the aggregation contained in the definition of "occurrence" redundant.



September 2021

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