Insurance 101 – Chapter 9 – Volume 6 – Exclusion – Intentional Acts

Exclusion – Intentional Acts

In some policies, assault and battery can be insurable if it results from the use of reasonable force to protect persons or property. In Gray v. Zurich Ins. Co., 65 Cal. 2nd 263, 273 (1966), Dr. Gray intentionally struck another party in self-defense. The policy had an intentional injury exclusion that precluded coverage for “bodily injury or property damage caused intentionally by or at the direction of the insured.” The insurer contended that to defend the insured would violate the public policy. However, the insurer had attempted to limit coverage with the exclusionary clause that appeared “after a long and complicated page of fine print.” The court stated that in order for the exclusionary clause to apply, the language must be “conspicuous, plain and clear.” The court also ruled that even if the plaintiff had exceeded the reasonable bounds of self-defense, he did not commit willful and intended injury, and thus, coverage was found.

The following video was adapted from my book, “Insurance Claims A Comprehensive Guide” Published by the National Underwriter Company and is available at the Zalma Insurance Claims Library

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