The Bermuda Form, Environmental Pollution, and Property-Damage Claims

July 27, 2011Articles ABA Environmental Litigation
This article discusses the key features of the Bermuda Form insurance policy. These are considered both generally and in the context of claims for property damage. The form may be important in certain environmental cases where insurance coverage is in play. In short, the Bermuda Form is an excessliability cover that arose in response to the collapse of the U.S. excess-liability market in the 1980s. Typically, it is an umbrella policy, written in broad terms. There is no single standard version of the Bermuda Form, although certain clauses or concepts are adopted widely. As with most insurance policies, the policy requirements, coverage, and exclusions must be carefully examined to determine whether the identified risk of the insured is appropriately covered. For example, the notification requirements are unusually complex and warrant careful attention.
For property-damage claims, the application of the exclusion clauses is central to understanding how the policy applies.