More on Assault and Battery
Under California law, the word “accident” in the coverage clause of a liability policy refers to the conduct of the insured for which liability is sought to be imposed on the insured. This view is consistent with the purpose of liability insurance. Generally, liability insurance is a contract between the insured and the insurance company to provide the insured, in return for the payment of premiums, protection against liability for risks that are within the scope of the policy’s coverage. There is no potential for coverage under the policy where an insured assaults and batters another were acts done with the intent to cause injury and where there is no allegation in the complaint that the acts themselves were merely shielding or the result of a reflex action the injuries were not, as a matter of law, accidental and consequently. An unreasonable belief that the insured is acting in self-defense is not sufficient to make the act of assault and battery an accident.
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