Excess Carrier Entitled to Reimbursement of Defense and Indemnity From Primary Carrier Who Refused to Defend Its Insured

Nova Cas. Co. v. Onebeacon Am. Ins. Co. (11th Cir. Fla., March 17, 2015)

The plaintiff excess insurer commenced a declaratory judgment action the defendant primary insurer who refused to defend and indemnify its policyholder in an underlying litigation, forcing the plaintiff excess carrier to step in to defend and settle the claim. The plaintiff sought a declaration that the defendant was obligated to defend and indemnify the policyholder and that its failure to do so resulted in a breach of contract. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed and remanded a trial court decision that agreed with the plaintiff but nonetheless held that it was not entitled to damages.