A federal court last month turned away an insurer’s legal arguments seeking to avoid financial institution bond coverage for a bank’s losses resulting from a borrower’s use of forged documents to obtain a $3.6 million loan. In doing so, the Arizona court rejected Everest National Insurance Company’s narrow construction of the bond’s “Securities” insuring agreement and ruled that the notice-prejudice rule applies to a financial institution bond.
Coverage often turns on the meaning of a single word or phrase in an insurance policy. The definition of “counterfeit” in financial institution bonds can be especially tricky. On June 12, 2017, the court in Harvard Sav. Bank v. Sec. Nat’l Ins. Co., No. 15-CV-11674, 2017 WL 2560900, at *1 (N.D. Ill. June 12, 2017) addressed the definition of “counterfeit” in the financial institution bond issued by Security National Insurance Company to Harvard Savings Bank. As the ruling illustrates, terminology that may appear to be insignificant can often make all the difference between millions of dollars in recovery versus no coverage being available. Continue Reading Coverage for “Counterfeit” Securities: Imitation of an Original vs. Imitation of the Original