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Definitions

One of the most debated commercial lines issues is whether or not a vehicle is an 'auto' or 'mobile equipment.' When you carefully read the policy definitions, it's amazing how many vehicles fit the definition of 'mobile equipment,' even vehicles licensed and used on public highways. In fact, it's possible that a vehicle could be an 'auto' under one set of circumstances and 'mobile equipment' under another. In this article, we'll look at an example of this debate.
Property was stolen from a guest's auto in the insured hotel's self-parking garage. The guest made a negligence claim against the hotel. The adjuster has denied the claim on the basis that, under state law, theft is not included in the definition of 'property damage.' If the guest sues, the adjuster says no coverage, no defense. True or false?
The BAP covers loading and unloading of a vehicle if done by hand, hand truck, or a mechanical device attached to the auto. The CGL policy picks up the exposure if property is moved by an unattached mechanical device other than a hand truck. So, the question is, what is a 'hand truck'?
A local community nonprofit organization is planning their annual festival. They always rent a large, 28-foot flatbed trailer to use as a stage for the bands and speakers. The organization’s event coordinator said that their former agent told them that any injuries involving the stage would be covered by their CGL policy because the trailer was not attached to a vehicle and therefore would be mobile equipment. Do you agree?
The CGL policy usually covers both on-going and completed operations. However, at what point is an operation completed? This question has particular significance when the business is involved in some sort of periodic service contract.
A tree trimmer has his CGL policy with one insurer and his BAP policy with another one. There is an accident involving his bucket truck so, of course, each insurer is pointing at the other one for coverage. This and other situations illustrate why it is usually a good idea to insure both policies with one carrier.
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Alexandria VA 22314
​phone: 800.221.7917
fax: 703.683.7556
email: info@iiaba.net

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