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Mt. Hawley Insurance Company v. Robinette Demolition, Inc. and Valenti Construction LLC

2013 IL App (1st) 112847 (Ill. App., 2013)

Words & Phrases

Late Notice: In General

Trial Judge

Nancy J. Arnold

Appellate Judge

Justice Hall; Justice Gordon dissented.


Named Insured's failure to give notice of occurrence did not bar coverage for additional insured.

Fact Summary


Robinette and Cobra entered into a written contract requiring Cobra to name Robinette and any other parties as may be reasonbly required by Robinette as additional insureds.  Mt. Hawley insured Cobra with a blanket additional insured endorsement "where required by written contract."  Employee of Cobra was injured and sued Robinette and Valenti.  Mt. Hawley first received notice of the accident two years after it occurred.  It received notice of the suit within 2 months of it being filed.

Mt. Hawley denied coverage on the basis of late notice of the occurrence and that Valenti was not an additional insured required by written contract.

Trial court granted summary judgment to Mt. Hawley.  Appellate Court reversed.

Nothing in the notice provision of the policy made coverage for the additional insured contingent on the named insured's compliance with its duty to notify.  "The court cannot import language into a policy that was not placed there by the parties but must determine what the poolicy is, not what a party argues it should be."  James McHugh Construction v. Zurich American, 401 Ill. App. 3d 127, 133 (2010).

Court also addressed what extrinsic evidence was admissible to support finding that the written agreement between Cobra and Robinette contemplated that at a future time Robinette would name other entities to be added as additional insured.

Justice Gordon dissented on the issue that Valenti was not required to be named by written contract.