Carriers to Add Deepwater Exclusions: Marsh

Organizations urged to review exposures, notify carriers.

Excess liability carriers will likely add new exclusions to 2010-2011 policies in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster, according to analysts at Marsh.

Event-specific exclusions could potentially eliminate coverage for the Deepwater event, “an emerging market trend that raises concerns for Marsh clients with respect to their 2009-2010 policies,” states a brokerage bulletin issued July 1.

“The full impact of the Deepwater event upon the environment and upon private property and commercial interests will know be know for some time,” said Tim Mahoney, president of Marsh’s global risk management division, in an audio message to clients accompanying the bulletin. “However, we expect it will ultimately impact–directly or indirectly–a number of Marsh clients.”

Market developments

Organizations and their legal teams should review all potential exposures stemming from primary and excess policies–including casualty, property, D&O and professional liability policies, says Jonathan Zaffino, Marsh’s global risk management casualty practice leader.

“These provisions should be evaluated in light of potential future claims in determining whether to provide notice of Deepwater event claims,” he says.

Certain policies are time-sensitive, requiring written notice of loss or potential loss within a specific time frame, Zaffino adds.

With carriers saying they’ll enforce the time limits,”it is important for clients and legal counsel to analyze potential exposure to the Deepwater event and review all their current excess and primary policies in order to comply with notice provisions.”

Both organizations that give notice right away and those that wait to establish damages will likely see carriers limit their exposure via endorsements, he says, noting that organizations may have more than one source of exposure to the event, or anticipate future exposure stemming from remediation efforts.

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