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Appellate Division holds no Duty to Defend where Property Removed from Coverage Before the Date of Loss

The Appellate Division, Second Department reversed the trial court’s denial of summary judgment to Travelers Property Casualty Company of America in a declaratory judgment action.  We successfully argued that Travelers is not obligated to defend or indemnify its insured-property owner under a policy which was effective from May 2007 to May 2008, for an accident that occurred on August 10, 2007, on the grounds that the insured had requested that Travelers remove the premises form coverage under the policy effective July 31, 2007 and Travelers did remove the premises from coverage. 

The Appellate Division held that the policy clearly and unambiguously provided that the duty to defend and indemnify only attaches to bodily injury caused by an “occurrence” that occurs during the policy period, and the policy period for the premises at issue had expired by the date of accident due to the removal of the premises from coverage.  Additionally, the Second Department expressly held that the fact that the accident was caused by a dangerous condition that existed on the premises before it was removed from coverage is immaterial to the analysis of the duty to defend/indemnify in light of the clearly stated predicate for coverage. Jericho Atrium Assoc. v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am., 106 A.D.3d 879 , 965 N.Y.S.2d 537 (2d Dept. 2013).