Ask an Expert


We are looking at changing general liability providers for a plumbing business.

There are no known claims or circumstances likely to give rise to a claim. Due to the nature of the plumbing industry and the typical "water damage" claim. Is there a cause to be concerned around changing underwriters on an occurrence-based wording?

Example -
12/02/20     Insured install a new hot water cylinder for a client.

15/02/20     Existing policy expires and cover is arranged with a new underwriter

17/02/20     Allegation of water damage as a result of cylinder install arises.

I appreciate the timeline is unlikely but so are many things in life. With no clear time and date of an occurrence which policy do we rely on to pay?

Reply:  Crossley Gates

The trigger for cover under a general liability policy with an occurrence wording is when the property damage occurs for which the insured is being held liable.

As long as there is a policy on foot when the property damage occurs then potential cover is in place. This means a seamless transfer from one insurer to another should be fine.

March 2020

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