Intentional Acts Not Covered In Insurance Policy

Insurance policies have different forms of coverage depending on what it is that the policyholder purchases. In Texas, a homeowners policy purchased in Grand Praire, Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth, or Weatherford, is going to have the same basic coverage. Parts of this coverage is for losses such as water damage, hail, fire, wind, and others. But most homeowners insurance policies also have liability coverage.
Liability coverage is coverage that protects and pays on behalf of the policyholder for injuries to others caused by the negligent acts of the policyholder. The normal homeowners policy is not going to pay or protect from acts that are voluntary or committed on purpose.
A lawsuit litigating this issue was decided by a Texas Appeals Court in Houston. The name on the case is State Farm Lloyds v. Henderson, et al. In this case, the underlying facts were that Henderson, after drinking a large amount of alcohol, punched a guy named Burnley in the face causing severe bruises and cuts and the loss of one of Burnley’s teeth. Henderson was sued by Burnley. State Farm Lloyds was obligated to defend if the injuries sustained by Burnley were the result of an accident. If the injuries to Burnley were intentionally or voluntarily caused by Henderson, then State Farm did not have an obligation to defend Henderson, or to pay for any of the damages suffered by Burnley.
This case is a little complicated in the legal manuvering that occurred but the facts and issues in the above paragraph are what is relevant. The Court ultimately ruled that State Farm had no duty to defend Henderson or to pay damages to Burnley. The Court stated that Henderson acted voluntarily in becoming intoxicated and did so knowing of his propensity to loose control. The facts alleged in the lawsuit clearly established that Henderson voluntarily and intentionally caused Burnley’s injuries.
An experienced Insurance Law Attorney may have made a difference in this case. The wording in a lawsuit must be very carefully drafted. This drafting must be done with an awareness of what it takes to invoke insurance coverage.