In 2021, a warehouse developed by a property developer and already occupied by the tenant collapsed during a tornado causing injuries and deaths. The developer sought an indemnity under its insurance policy covering bodily injury and property damage liability. The right to indemnity was declined by the court because the warehouse was neither explicitly nor implicitly contained in the schedule of locations in the policy.

The policy limited coverage to “all premises you own, rent, or occupy … per schedule of locations on file with carrier”. The policy only covered an occurrence that took place in the “coverage territory” shown in the schedule of locations. The schedule of locations listed 18 locations which contained mailing addresses, names of entire streets or highways and even names of entire cities. None of the listed locations contained the warehouse’s mailing address. The developer sought to argue that because the warehouse was in the area of addresses or streets named in the policy it was covered. Such a reading was said to be untenable. The developer did not own, rent nor occupy the warehouse when it collapsed and the warehouse was not covered.

A specific description of the property insured in the schedule is one of the important provisions in a policy so that everyone knows what is covered. Generalities lead to disputes.

[Axis Surplus Insurance Company v TriStar Companies, LLC United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit case no 23-1450 (4 March 2024)]