Washington National v. Ruderman
The Florida Supreme Court recently issued a definitive opinion addressing the interpretation of an ambiguous insurance policy in response to a certified question from the Eleventh Circuit. The case, Washington National Insurance Corp. v. Ruderman, involved the construction of limited-benefit home health care coverage insurance policies and, specifically, the effect of a policy provision that automatically increased benefits. The insurer argued that the automatic increase applied only to the maximum daily benefit; the insured argued that the increase applied to the daily benefit, the lifetime maximum benefit, and the per occurrence maximum benefit.
The federal district court concluded that the policy was ambiguous and granted summary judgment in favor of the insureds based on its understanding that Florida law required the court to construe an ambiguous policy against the insurer and in favor of coverage. On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit observed:
[The Florida Supreme Court] held in Anderson that “[a]mbiguous policy provisions are interpreted liberally in favor of the insured and strictly against the drafter who prepared the policy.” However, . . . “the correct approach under Florida law in resolving the ambiguity in the Policy is unclear.”
Seeking clarification from the Florida high court, the Eleventh Circuit posed the following inquiry:
In this case, does the policy’s “Automatic Benefit Increase Percentage” apply to the dollar values of the “Lifetime Maximum Benefit Amount” and the “Per Occurrence Maximum Benefit”?
The court of appeals further identified three sub-questions: is the policy ambiguous; if the policy is ambiguous, should courts first attempt to resolve the ambiguity by examining available extrinsic evidence; and applying the Florida law principles of policy construction, does the policy’s “Automatic Benefit Increase Percentage” apply to the “Lifetime Maximum Benefit Amount” and to the “Per Occurrence Maximum Benefit,” or does it apply only to the “Home Health Care Daily Benefit”?
Finding the policy to be ambiguous, the Florida Supreme Court stated conclusively that the policy must therefore be construed against the insurer and in favor of coverage without resort to extrinsic evidence. In this area riddled with inconsistencies, the methodology applied by the Ruderman court may be more instructive than the outcome.
Rules of Contract Interpretation
The Ruderman court provided a succinct analytical framework for its interpretation of the policy provision at issue:
Where the language in an insurance contract is plain and unambiguous, a court must interpret the policy in accordance with the plain meaning so as to give effect to the policy as written. In construing insurance contracts, “courts should read each policy as a whole, endeavoring to give every provision its full meaning and operative effect.” Courts should “avoid simply concentrating on certain limited provisions to the exclusion of the totality of others.” However, “[p]olicy language is considered to be ambiguous . . . if the language ‘is susceptible to more than one reasonable interpretation, one providing coverage and the other limiting coverage.’”
These basic interpretive guidelines are widely recognized by courts in most states. But when a dispute arises as the result of plausible competing interpretations, the analysis begins to unravel as courts seek to reach the “right” outcome in each case.
General rules apply. The interpretation of an unambiguous insurance policy and a determination that the policy is unambiguous are questions of law for the court. Most courts apply the general rules of contract interpretation to ascertain the intent of the parties to an insurance agreement. Clear and unambiguous policy language must then be enforced as written. Below are the common guideposts for insurance contract interpretation.
The parties’ intent. The primary goal of the court in construing insurance policies is, as with other contracts, to ascertain the intention of the parties. The court’s “chief aim in constructing an insurance policy is giving effect to parties’ intent as expressed in the policy terms.” Some courts emphasize that the policy must be construed based on written expression of the parties’ intent without reference to parol evidence.
Plain and ordinary meaning. To ascertain the parties’ intent as expressed in the written agreement, the words used in the policy, when unambiguous, must be given their plain and ordinary meaning.
The words of an insurance policy are given their “general, ordinary, plain, and proper meaning . . . unless [they] have acquired a technical meaning.”
Technical terms may be given their technical meaning when the policy evidences that the parties intended the terms to be used in their technical sense. This may be the case for professional liability or errors and omissions policies that relate specifically to exposures associated with the insured’s professional services.
Reasonableness. An insurance policy is ambiguous only when it may “fairly and reasonably” be understood in more ways than one.  “Common sense and good faith are the leading touchstones of the inquiry.”
When the words of the contract are clear and explicit and lead to no absurd consequences, no further interpretation may be made in search of the parties’ intent.
Read as a whole, meaning to all parts. All parts of a contract must be read together, in context, giving meaning to each part. Insurance policies are no different. An insurance policy “must be read as a whole in order to give a reasonable and harmonious meaning and effect to all of its provisions.” Similarly, an insurance policy “should be construed as a whole such that every provision has a purpose.”
Whether a contract is ambiguous is to be determined from the entire contract and not from isolated portions of the contract.
“Since the objective of construing an insurance policy is to ascertain the intent of the parties, the courts should resist piecemeal constructions and should, instead, examine each provision in the context of the policy as a whole.”
Insurance-specific rules. Although the interpretation of an insurance policy is typically governed by the general rules of contract construction, some rules contain insurance-specific nuances. Each of these rules gives an advantage to the insured, on the theory that the insurer is in the best position to avoid a dispute regarding the policy’s meaning in the first instance.
Of the three rules discussed here, the doctrine of “reasonable expectations” is arguably the most insured-protective rule, triggered by confusing policy language or deceptive conduct by the insurer. Many courts adhere to the notion that exclusionary clauses, on which the insurer bears the burden of proof, should be construed narrowly in favor of coverage. Finally, at some point in the interpretative process, courts in most jurisdictions resort to the doctrine of contra proferentem—automatic construction of the policy against the insurer.
These rules may be applied in connection with or after the court makes a determination of ambiguity.
Reasonable expectations. When interpreting insurance policies, some jurisdictions apply the controversial doctrine of reasonable expectations, subjecting the policy terms to heightened scrutiny in order to meet the expectations of the insured. Under this doctrine, courts may extend coverage to an insured when the policy language does not clearly provide it.
Given insurance policies’ unique nature, which includes significant potential for insurers to take advantage of or mislead insureds, such policies are subject to heightened scrutiny, including the doctrine of reasonable expectations, which obligates insurers to clearly and adequately convey coverage-limiting provisions to insureds.
The reasonable expectations of the insured may defeat exclusionary policy language if “an ordinary, objectively reasonable person” would fail to understand from the policy language that a particular scenario is not covered and in situations where the insurer has deceived the insured into believing it has coverage when the insurer maintains otherwise. Even if the policy is not “ambiguous in a technical sense” (and therefore not subject to construction against the drafter), a court may determine that limitations on coverage are ambiguous from the perspective of an “ordinary reader” and therefore determine that the exclusionary provisions are unenforceable. Courts applying the reasonable expectations doctrine recognize that insurance policies are not usually the result of a true bargaining process, often imposed on a take-it-or-leave-it basis, and are often not read by insureds. The frequent disparity in the parties’ respective bargaining positions and the likelihood that insureds are not “highly sophisticated in the art of reading insurance policies” are believed by many to result in an “increased risk that insurers may intentionally, or inadvertently, exploit insureds”—by burying exclusionary or limiting language in fine print and the like.
Application of the reasonable expectations doctrine manifests in a wide range of scenarios, reflecting some degree of confusion regarding the scope of the doctrine. In some jurisdictions that apply the doctrine of reasonable expectations, it is more than an interpretive tool for resolving ambiguities; it can be used to assist in establishing whether ambiguities exist at all. In both instances, courts appear to apply the doctrine to resolve questions of law.
Notably, the minority of jurisdictions that apply this insured-friendly rule nevertheless recognize insurers’ legitimate interests in defining and restricting the scope of the risk to be transferred by an insurance policy. As long as the limitations are clearly expressed so that an “ordinary person” will understand them and unaccompanied by deceptive conduct, even courts in “reasonable-expectations” jurisdictions are ready and willing to enforce clearly drafted exclusions.
Contra proferentem. Similar to the rule of reasonable expectations, but more narrow in application, is the doctrine of contra proferentem, which provides that insurance policies should be construed against the insurer based on the notion that the contract was drafted by the insurer (or by the insurance industry ). Often triggered by an ambiguity, the doctrine is applied by courts in many jurisdictions to construe insurance contracts against the drafter and in favor of coverage for the insured. The rationale behind the rule is that the policy language was drafted by the insurer, who is best-positioned to ensure the contract’s clarity. “If there is an ambiguity in the policy of insurance, the ambiguous provision is construed against the insurer because it is the party who furnished the text.”
Exclusions construed narrowly. Similarly, policy exclusions are construed narrowly in favor of coverage in most jurisdictions, based on the notion that the insurer (or an industry organization) selected the terms used to limit coverage.
In interpreting insurance policies, [e]xclusions from and exceptions to undertakings by the company are not favored, and are to be strictly construed to provide the coverage which would otherwise be afforded by the Policy.
Other courts cite the parties’ unequal bargaining positions with respect to insurance policies when recognizing that exceptions, exclusions, and limitations on coverage must be clearly expressed:
[W]here there is a standardized contract, such as . . . here, and the insured and insurer are in unequal bargaining positions, any exceptions, limitations, or exclusions that may vary from the original policy issued must clearly, conspicuously and unambiguously be called to the insured’s attention. Especially where there is a reduction in coverage, the notice must be specific.
Some courts note, in connection with this rule, that the insurer “also bears the burden of establishing the exclusion’s applicability.”
At the heart of nearly every insurance coverage dispute lies a disagreement regarding the meaning and intent of the policy, requiring a determination of the meaning in order to resolve the issues in controversy.
If the policy is susceptible of more than one reasonable interpretation when the rules of interpretation are applied, the contract is ambiguous. This occurs when “the contract’s language is of doubtful import, is susceptible of being understood in more than one way or of having more than one meaning, or refers to two or more things at the same time.”
Competing interpretations must be reasonable. “A contract provision is not ambiguous where only one of two competing interpretations is reasonable or merely because one party can create a dispute in hindsight.” Ambiguity does not arise merely because the litigants proffer “creative interpretive possibilities.” “[M]ere disagreement between the parties does not create ambiguity in the legal sense.”
Once an insurance policy is determined to be ambiguous, the pertinent rules of interpretation generally disfavor the insurer, with many courts applying the doctrine of contra proferentem. In Ruderman, the court affirmed the rule in Florida:
[W]here the provisions of an insurance policy are at issue, any ambiguity which remains after reading each policy as a whole and endeavoring to give every provision its full meaning and operative effect must be liberally construed in favor of coverage and strictly against the insurer.
As Ruderman confirms, the rule of contra proferentem applies in Florida insurance cases not as a rule of “last resort” when extrinsic evidence fails to illuminate the parties’ intent, but as an automatic consequence of ambiguity in the policy.
Latent and patent ambiguities. Although not an issue in Ruderman, courts may distinguish between latent and patent ambiguities and apply different rules depending on the nature of the ambiguity and where it appears in the policy. As a general rule, an ambiguity is patent where it is apparent on the face of the policy that the language can be interpreted in more than one way. An ambiguity is latent where the language in question appears “perfectly clear” at the time of contract formation but, owing to “subsequently discovered or developed facts, may reasonably be interpreted in either of two ways.” One court, for example, held that patent ambiguities are resolved against the insurer without extrinsic evidence, while such evidence may be admitted to resolve a latent ambiguity.
Practitioners and commentators have observed that the order in which the rules of interpretation are applied may affect the outcome, urging the application of an algorithm in which steps are taken in a particular order. The Ruderman court, for example, considered whether to admit extrinsic evidence in connection with its ambiguity determination, rather than after finding the policy to be ambiguous. This may have been more a function of the court’s efforts to reconcile seemingly inconsistent Florida law than deliberate application of an algorithm. Specifically, the insurer offered extrinsic evidence to demonstrate the insureds’ understanding of which benefits would increase annually.
Although the Eleventh Circuit recognized that Anderson held ambiguous insurance policy provisions are to be construed against the insurer, the court expressed concern that Excelsior “qualified the longstanding rule of construing an ambiguity against the drafter, [by] stating that ‘[o]nly when a genuine inconsistency, uncertainty, or ambiguity in meaning remains after resort to the ordinary rules of construction is the rule apposite.’” The Eleventh Circuit was uncertain whether this language would require that the court consider extrinsic evidence concerning the terms of the policy before finally concluding that the policy provisions were ambiguous and subject to being construed in favor of coverage and against the insurer.
Courts applying Arizona law, on the other hand, consider extrinsic evidence both to identify and to resolve ambiguities in an insurance policy. Consider whether this means an apparently unambiguous provision can be rendered ambiguous by extrinsic evidence? Once a provision “appears ambiguous,” the court will interpret it by looking to legislative goals, social policy, and the transaction as a whole.” Finally, “[i]f an ambiguity remains after considering these factors, [the court] construe[s] it against the insurer.”
It seems clear that timing matters. If the court is permitted or required to consider evidence outside the “four corners” of the contract to ascertain the parties’ intent or evaluate whether a proffered interpretation is sufficiently reasonable to support a determination of ambiguity, the contract becomes indefinite and unpredictable, open to supplementation with parol evidence at any juncture.
If extrinsic evidence is admissible after a determination that the policy is ambiguous, what standards apply? How should the court or finder of fact weigh the evidence in ascertaining the parties’ true intent? And does this methodology incentivize the insurer, as the contract’s drafter, to engage in strategic behavior instead of striving for clarity?
The methodology applied by the Ruderman court stems from the widely held notion that the insurer is in the best position to ensure that the parties’ intent is stated with clarity in the written instrument. If that is the case, the insurer should not benefit from the confusion that ensues when the parties’ intentions are not clearly expressed in the policy.
While litigants facing policy interpretation disputes governed by Florida law have some clearly enunciated guidelines for evaluating the potential outcomes, both sides of the insurance coverage bar can be expected to continue pushing for the application of rules—and exceptions to those rules—that best serve the interests of their clients. Courts, meanwhile, will strive to reach the right outcomes based on the parties’ intentions. While the results seem far from consistent in some jurisdictions, the underlying principles and motivating factors are instructive, as demonstrated by the court’s analysis in Ruderman.
Keywords: litigation, ambiguity, contra proferentem, contract interpretation, insurance coverage, reasonable expectations
Amy Elizabeth Stewart is with Amy Stewart Law in Dallas.
 Lott v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 827 F. Supp. 2d 626, 630 (E.D. Va. 2011); Seals v. Erie Ins. Exch., 277 Va. 558, 562, 674 S.E.2d 860, 862 (Va. 2009), quoting Floyd v. N. Neck Ins. Co., 427 S.E.2d 193, 196 (Va. 1993).
 No. SC12-323, 2013 Fla. LEXIS 1388 (Fla. July 3, 2013).
 Contra proferentem appears to be, by far, the more prevalent spelling. But see Marquette Gen. Hosp. v. Goodman Forest Indus., 315 F.3d 629, 633 n.1 (6th Cir. 2003).
 Washington Nat’l Ins. Corp. v. Ruderman, No. SC12-323, 2013 Fla. LEXIS 1388.
 Washington Nat’l Ins. Corp. v. Ruderman, 2013 Fla. LEXIS 1388, at *7.
 Washington Nat’l Ins. Corp. v. Ruderman, 2013 Fla. LEXIS 1388, at *8, quoting Ruderman ex rel. Schwartz v. Wash. Nat’l Ins. Corp., 671 F.3d 1208, 1211 (11th Cir. 2012).
 Ruderman ex rel. Schwartz v. Wash. Nat’l Ins. Corp., 671 F.3d 1208, 1212 (11th Cir. 2012).
 Washington Nat’l Ins. Corp. v. Ruderman, 2013 Fla. LEXIS 1388, at *22.
 Washington Nat’l Ins. Corp. v. Ruderman, 2013 Fla. LEXIS 1388, at *10–11 (internal citations omitted).
 Whitlock v. Stewart Title Guar. Co., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114006 (D.S.C. 2011), citing Beaufort Cnty. Sch. Dist. v. United Nat’l Ins. Co., 709 S.E.2d 85, 95 (S.C. Ct. App. 2011) (interpretation of an unambiguous policy or a policy with a patent ambiguity is for the court). See Alta Vista Prods., LLC v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 796 F. Supp. 2d 782 (E.D. La. 2011) (under Louisiana law, the interpretation of an insurance contract is a question of law); Jarvis Christian Coll. v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., 197 F.3d 742, 746 (5th Cir. 2000); Alliant Credit Union v. Cumis Ins. Soc’y, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27153 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 10, 2011), citing Am. Econ. Ins. Co. v. DePaul Univ., 890 N.E.2d 582, 587 (Ill. App. Ct. 2008) (“The construction of an insurance policy and a determination of the rights and obligations thereunder are questions of law for the court.”).
 Am. Mfrs. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Schaefer, 124 S.W.3d 154, 157 (Tex. 2003) (“[W]e interpret insurance policies in Texas according to the rules of contract construction.”); Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. v. CBI Indus., Inc., 907 S.W.2d 517, 520 (Tex. 1995) (same).
 Alta Vista Prods., LLC v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 796 F. Supp. 2d 782 (E.D. La. 2011), citing Reynolds v. Select Props. Ltd., 634 So. 2d 1180, 1183 (La. 1994).
 Whitlock, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114006. See also Alta Vista Prods., LLC, 796 F. Supp. 2d at 785, citing La. Ins. Guar. Ass’n v. Interstate Fire & Cas. Co., 630 So. 2d 759, 763 (La. 1994).
 Alliant Credit Union v. Cumis Ins. Soc’y, Inc., No. 10 C 0737 , 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27153, at *6 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 10, 2011), citing Valley Forge Ins. Co. v. Swiderski Elecs., Inc., 860 N.E.2d 307, 314 (Ill. 2006).
 Lott v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 827 F. Supp. 2d 626, 630–31 (E.D. Va. 2011), citing P’ship Umbrella, Inc. v. Fed. Ins. Co., 530 S.E.2d 154, 160 (Va. 2000); Hill v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 375 S.E.2d 727, 729 (Va. 1989).
 Lott, 827 F. Supp. 2d at 630–31, citing P’ship Umbrella, Inc., 530 S.E.2d at 160 Shepardize ; , 375 S.E.2d at 729. See Alta Vista Prods., LLC, 796 F. Supp. 2d 782, citing Valley Forge Ins. Co., 860 N.E.2d at 314 (unambiguous policy language must be applied as written, using words’ plain, ordinary meanings).
 Alta Vista Prods., LLC, 796 F. Supp. 2d at 785, citing La. Ins. Guar. Ass’n v. Interstate Fire & Cas. Co., 630 So. 2d 759, 763 (La. 1994).
 Am. States Ins. Co. v. Hanson Indus., 873 F. Supp. 17, 22 (S.D. Tex. 1995); Sec. Cas. Co. v. Johnson, 584 S.W.2d 703, 704 (Tex. 1979).
 Whitlock v. Stewart Title Guar. Co., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114006 (D.S.C. 2011), citing Farr v. Duke Power Co., 218 S.E.2d 431 (S.C. 1975).
 Whitlock, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114006, citing Farr, 218 S.E.2d 431.
 Alta Vista Prods., LLC, 796 F. Supp. 2d 782; La. Civ. Code art. 2046.
 City of Glendale v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45468 (D. Ariz. Mar. 28, 2013), quoting Nichols v. State Farm Fire & Cas., 175 Ariz. 354, 857 P.2d 406, 408 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1993).
 Alta Vista Prods., LLC, 796 F. Supp. 2d 782, citing Valley Forge Ins. Co. v. Swiderski Elecs., Inc., 860 N.E.2d 307, 314 (Ill. 2006).
 Whitlock, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114006, citing Farr, 218 S.E.2d 431. See also State Farm Life Ins. Co. v. Beastin, 907 S.W.2d 430, 433 (Tex. 1995) (“courts must be particularly wary of isolating from its surroundings or considering apart from other provisions a single phrase, sentence, or section of a contract”); Forbau v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 876 S.W.2d 132, 133–34 (Tex. 1994) (“‘no one phrase, sentence, or section [of a contract] should be isolated from its setting and considered apart from the other provisions’”).
 Anderson v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15366 (W.D.N.C. 2013), quoting DeMent v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 544 S.E.2d 797, 800 (N.C. 2001).
 David J. Seno, “The Doctrine of Reasonable Expectations in Insurance Law: What to Expect in Wisconsin,” 85 Marq. L. Rev. 859 (2002). See Robert E. Keeton, “Insurance Law Rights at Variance with Policy Provisions,” 83 Harv. L. Rev. 961, 970 n.14 (1970).
 Bailey v. Lincoln Gen. Ins. Co., 255 P.3d 1039 (Colo. 2011).
 Bailey, 255 P.3d 1039.
 Bailey, 255 P.3d 1039, citing Terranova v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 800 P.2d 58, 60 (Colo. 1990) (distinguishing between the plain and generally accepted meaning of words and the plain and ordinary meaning).
 Bailey, 255 P.3d 1039, citing State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Nissen, 851 P.2d 165, 167 (Colo. 1993).
 Bailey, 255 P.3d 1039. See McGowan v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 100 P.3d 521, 525 (Colo. App. 2004) (stating that the doctrine of reasonable expectations serves to protect insureds from coverage exclusions “that are either not readily apparent or ambiguous”); Shelter Mut. Ins. Co. v. Breit, 908 P.2d 1149, 1152 (Colo. App. 1995) (observing that the doctrine of reasonable expectations may be appropriate in “unique circumstances or circumstances of extreme unconscionability”).
 Bailey, 255 P.3d 1039.
 Bailey, 255 P.3d 1039(enforcing criminal-acts exclusion).
 The Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), for example, is a leading industry organization that gathers statistical and actuarial information regarding risk, underwriting, and claims, and provides that information to its clients. The organization also promulgates policy forms, widely used throughout the property/casualty industry.
 Whitlock v. Stewart Title Guar. Co., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114006 (D.S.C. 2011); Gen. Accident Ins. Co. v. Safeco Ins. Companies, 443 S.E.2d 813 (S.C. Ct. App. 1994).
 Alan v. Toys “R” Us Holdings, Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32582 (E.D. Tenn. Mar. 12, 2012), quoting Marquette Gen. Hosp. v. Goodman Forest Indus., 315 F.3d 629, 633 n.1 (6th Cir. 2003) (citations omitted) (“The contra proferent[e]m rule is applied where contractual language is found to have more than one interpretation. If the language is subject to more than one interpretation, ambiguities are construed against the drafter of the language.”).
 Alta Vista Prods., LLC v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 796 F. Supp. 2d 782, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65537 (E.D. La. 2011), citing La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 2056.
 Anderson v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15366 (W.D.N.C. 2013), quoting West Am. Ins. Co. v. Tufco Flooring E., 409 S.E.2d 692, 697 (N.C. Ct. App. 1991), overruled on other grounds by Gaston Cnty. Dyeing Mach. Co. v. Northfield Ins. Co., 524 S.E.2d 558 (N.C. 2000).
 Anderson, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15366, quoting Maddox v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 280 S.E.2d 907, 908 (N.C. 1981).
 Anderson, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15366, quoting N. River Ins. Co. v. Young, 453 S.E.2d 205, 210 (N.C. Ct. App. 1995).
 Whitlock v. Stewart Title Guar. Co., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114006 (D.S.C. 2011), citing Owners Ins. Co. v. Clayton, 614 S.E.2d 611, 614 (S.C. 2005).
 Amoco Prod. Co. v. Tex. Meridian Res. Exploration Inc., 180 F.3d 664, 669 (5th Cir. 1999); Lloyds of London v. Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp., 101 F.3d 425, 429 (5th Cir. 1996).
 Lott v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 827 F. Supp. 2d 626, 631 (E.D. Va. 2011); Va. Elec. & Power Co. v. Norfolk Southern Ry. Co., 278 Va. 444, 460, 683 S.E.2d 517, 526 (2009).
 Alta Vista Prods., LLC v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 796 F. Supp. 2d 782, 785 (E.D. La. 2011), citing Amoco Prod. Co., 180 F.3d at 668–69 (quoting Tex. E. Transmission Corp. v. Amerada Hess Corp., 145 F.3d 737, 741 (5th Cir. 1998) (internal quotes omitted)).
 Alliant Credit Union v. Cumis Ins. Soc’y, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27153 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 10, 2011), citing Valley Forge Ins. Co. v. Swiderski Elecs., Inc., 223 Ill. 2d 352 , 860 N.E.2d 307, 314, 307 Ill. Dec. 653 (Ill. 2006). See Alta Vista Prods., LLC, 796 F. Supp. 2d 782.
 Alan v. Toys “R” Us Holdings, Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32582 (E.D. Tenn. Mar. 12, 2012), citing Perez v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 150 F.3d 550, 557 n.7 (6th Cir. 1998) (citations omitted).
 Wash. Nat’l Ins. Corp. v. Ruderman, No. SC12-323, 2013 Fla. LEXIS 1388, at *15–16 (Fla. July 3, 2013).
 Robert Friedman, “Florida Supreme Court to 11th Circuit on Policy Ambiguities: “We Meant What We Said and Said What We Meant,” Ins. L. Fla. Blog, July 9, 2013.
 Lott v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 827 F. Supp. 2d 626, 630 (E.D. Va. 2011) (internal citations omitted).
 Lott, 827 F. Supp. 2d at 630; see also Whitlock v. Stewart Title Guar. Co., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114006 (D.S.C. 2011), citing Beaufort Cnty. Sch. Dist. v. United Nat’l Ins. Co., 392 S.C. 506, 709 S.E.2d 85, 95 (S.C. Ct. App. 2011) (extrinsic evidence may not be considered to resolve a patent ambiguity).
 R. Brent Cooper et al., Algorithm for Construction of Insurance Policies under Texas Law (presented at the Tenth Annual Insurance Law Inst., Dec. 8–9, 2005).
 Ruderman, 2013 Fla. LEXIS 1388, at *9–10.
 Ruderman, 2013 Fla. LEXIS 1388, at *9.
 Lennar Corp. v. Transamerica Ins., Co., 256 P.3d 635, 641 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2010).
 City of Glendale v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45468 (D. Ariz. Mar. 28, 2013), citing First Am. Title Ins. Co. v. Action Acquisitions, LLC, 218 Ariz. 394, 187 P.3d 1107, 1110 (Ariz. 2008) (citations omitted); Wilshire Ins. Co. v. S.A., 224 Ariz. 97, 227 P.3d 504, 506 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2010) (“We construe the clause against the insurer, however, if ambiguity remains after we apply those interpretive guides.”).