Almost weekly, an attorney in my firm will call with a question about an additional insured provision or an indemnity agreement. The Handbook on Additional Insured has made answering these questions much easier. Since receiving my copy three months ago, I have referenced the Handbook on at least four or five different matters. In each, the Handbook helped me find the answer quickly or pointed me in the right direction for additional research. Indeed, the day before I authored this review, I had to answer a question about the scope of additional insured coverage under Illinois law. Because I practice in Alabama, I thought it might take some time to get up to speed on the relevant Illinois cases. Fortunately, Chapter 5 of the Handbook specifically addresses the issue I needed to research—i.e., the meaning of “arising out of” in an additional insured provision. Within 10 minutes of consulting the Handbook, I found a promising case that ended up being directly on point.
Seasoned coverage counsel, as well as any lawyer who drafts or litigates business contracts, will benefit from having the Handbook available as a reference tool. Unlike some secondary sources, the Handbook is accessible. It is well-organized with a detailed table of contents that allows you to turn right to the section you want. The prose is conversational and easy to read. At the same time, the Handbook is thorough. The chapters are well-researched with extensive footnotes. In most chapters, the authors discuss the relevant cases for most jurisdictions, note any splits of authority, and discuss the reasons for the split. The authors also provide historical context to help you understand how or why particular policy provisions or splits in authority developed. While I love history for its own sake, I find such background information extremely useful in understanding and explaining insurance provisions to both clients and courts.
Substantively, the Handbook touches on all the major coverage issues likely to arise for additional insureds. Chapters discuss common additional insured provisions, their historical development, certificates of insurance, the duty to defend, subrogation, and the interplay between additional insured coverage and contractual indemnity. Chapter 12 addresses ethical issues that often arise, and Chapters 13 and 14 address additional insured provisions in the UK and Canada. I have not had to use these last two chapters (yet), but I am confident they will be invaluable one day in the future.
The last third of the book addresses specific areas where additional insured issues often arise, including (1) Architects and Engineers, (2) Owners, Contractors, and Subcontractors, (3) Landlord and Tenant, (4) Construction Wrap, (5) Marine and Aviation, and (6) Vendors and Vendees. For someone who often fields questions involving unfamiliar contracts or areas, these chapters can provide a valuable crash course on the nuances particular to that area of coverage.
In my view, the Handbook is an invaluable reference tool. Any law firm that regularly handles insurance coverage or business contracts should have a copy in its library.