Occurrence versus Claims-Made Insurance Policies

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Liability insurance is often categorized as "occurrence" or "claims‐made." This Demonstration allows you to set the window during which the "occurrence" must occur and the window during which the "claim" must be made. It then categorizes the policy and depicts its features visually, such as a retroactive date or an extended reporting period. You can also set when an occurrence takes place and when a claim is made. The Demonstration then shows whether the occurrence and claim are within their respective windows and whether coverage is thus likely.

Contributed by: Seth J. Chandler (September 2007)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



As the extended reporting period gets longer, the claims‐made policy starts to blur into an occurrence policy and the labeling of a policy as one or the other—and having rules of law depend on that labeling—becomes somewhat arbitrary.

Snapshot 1: a claim under an occurrence policy

Snapshot 2: the insured is likely to have a problem here because the brief extended reporting period expired before the claim was made

Snapshot 3: the insured is likely to have a problem here because the occurrence took place before the retroactive date of the policy

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