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Fight over beer-pong game covered by insurance?

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that you may get involved in a lawsuit. If you are at fault in an automobile accident, your auto insurance provides protection. For other types of cases, your homeowners insurance policy can protect you.

Recently our litigation lawyers counseled clients who had been sued. We routinely ask to review their insurance policies. As it turned out, this occurrence was covered by their homeowners policy, saving them tens of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees.

This insurance coverage issue was highlighted in a recent Virginia Supreme Court case, Copp v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. In that case, a Virginia Tech student was sued for his actions in a beer-pong game gone bad. His parents thought the costs for his attorneys should be covered by their homeowners policy or their umbrella policy, but Nationwide Mutual declined. On appeal, the Virginia Supreme Court held that because the student alleged he was “trying to protect person or property” when he caused bodily injury, “Nationwide has the duty under its umbrella policy to defend.”

You pay for your insurance policy, make sure that you use the coverage you paid for.

Tarley Robinson, PLC, Attorneys and Counsellors at Law

Williamsburg, Virginia

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John Tarley

John is the firm's managing partner and chairs the firm's small business and litigation practice areas. In the community, John has served on the City of Williamsburg’s Economic Development Authority; is a member of the Williamsburg Bar Association, where he served as President and Vice-President of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, and the Virginia State Bar; currently serves on the Virginia State Bar Council as the representative for the 9th Judicial Circuit; and for 11 years, has taught at the William & Mary Law School as an adjunct professor covering classes in professional responsibility, legal writing, and trial practice.

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Filed under: John Tarley, Real Estate Strategies, State & Federal Litigation by John Tarley

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