After the Zurich American Insurance Co (ZAIC) in Missouri, USA paid out a claim on wrongful death from asbestos exposure, it sought a contribution from Insurance Company of North America (INA). The claim for contribution failed because the INA policy had a pollution exclusion but the principles of contribution between insurers were discussed.

The facts

A corporation which operated two industrial sites found significant amounts of ground water contamination. Its attempt to get insurance cover on the basis that the pollution was sudden and accidental was unsuccessful because the evidence of its expert was rejected as not being based on sound methodology. The pollution exclusion therefore defeated the claim.


Two tenants of a second-floor unit in an apartment building (condominium) in Florida USA died in their bedroom, after inhaling carbon monoxide gas whilst asleep. The gas was believed to have come from a car in the unit’s garage. It seeped into the air-conditioning system of the unit and entered the bedroom through the system’s

An insured lead mining company settled a pollution suit for $55 million without inviting the insurer to participate in the deal. The insurer was therefore not liable to pay the claim.

According to the policy, the insured was required to consult the insurers in settling claims. Although the insured advised the insurer that mediation to