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James River Ins. Co. v. Timcal, Inc.

2017 IL App (1st) 162116 (Ill. App., 2017)

Words & Phrases

Professional Liability Policy: In General

Trial Judge

Rita M. Novak

Appellate Judge



Letter to an insurance agent was a “claim” under the agent’s professional liability policy because it demanded payment of monetary damages, even though it did not include a specific amount.

Fact Summary

Claim was not reported timely to the professional liability insurer within the 60-day window after the end of the claims-made policy period. Renewal policy for the next period did not apply either because insured had knowledge of the claim before the policy’s effective date.

This case involves an insurer’s duty to defend or indemnify an insurance agent for negligent placement of insurance coverage that allegedly caused another insurer to incur damages. In July 2012, TimCal, Inc., an insurance agent affiliated with Geico Direct Representatives, received from Fidelity National Property & Casualty Insurance Company a letter, charging TimCal with breach of its duties as an insurance agent and informing TimCal that Fidelity would seek to recover damages. TimCal did not inform its professional liability insurer, James River Insurance Company (James River), about the claim until April 2013. James River filed a complaint against TimCal and Fidelity, seeking a judgment declaring that it had no duty to defend or indemnify TimCal because TimCal failed to provide timely notice of Fidelity’s claim to James River. The circuit court granted James River’s motion for summary judgment.