Whether the Insurer Is Obligated to Indemnify the Driver Turns on Whether the Driver Acted Intentionally When His Vehicle Struck the Rear of Decedent’s Vehicle—-There Was a Question of Fact Whether the Incident Was an Accident or the Result of Intentional Conduct
The Fourth Department determined there was a question of fact whether the striking of decedent’s car from behind was intentional or accidental. If the rear driver acted intentionally, his insurer had no duty to indemnify the rear driver. The court explained the terms “accidental” and “intentional” in this context:
“In deciding whether a loss is the result of an accident, it must be determined, from the point of view of the insured, whether the loss was unexpected, unusual and unforeseen” … . We must look to the allegations of the complaint in the underlying action, but may also consider extrinsic facts … .
Insurable ” [a]ccidental results can flow from intentional acts’ ” … . On the other hand, “when the damages alleged in the [underlying] complaint are the intended result which flows directly and immediately from [the insured’s] intentional act, . . . there is no accident, and therefore, no coverage” … . “[M]ore than a causal connection between the intentional act and the resultant harm is required to prove that the harm was intended” … . The exclusion for an intentional injury, however, will apply where the injuries are ” inherent in the nature’ of the wrongful act”… . Kemper Independence Ins. Co. v Ellis, 2015 NY Slip Op 04011, 4th Dept 5-8-15