An interesting post at the Adams Drafting blog points out various issues regarding the meaning of the word “occurrence” in commercial insurance policies. Billions and soon trillions of dollars will change hands based on the meaning given or found by court’s deciding insurance coverage cases for underlying toxic tort cases. The post includes comments from some lawyers who focus on insurance coverage for insureds, including Scott Godes. The following words from Scott are key:

Although the term was designed to be a clarification of coverage, it comes as no surprise to someone who represents policyholders when claims have been denied that insurance companies would have courts believe that instead, “occurrence” was designed to support coverage denials or limitations. Insurance companies also are happy to argue conflicting interpretations of “occurrence,” depending on which interpretation will mean less coverage for the policyholder in the dispute at issue.”