Brenner v. National Casualty Co. (Excess Coverage)

In Brenner v. National Casualty Co. (2018AP2252), the Court of Appeals District I held that Amerisure’s policy was in excess to the primary National Casualty policy covering the Milwaukee World Festival, where an injury to a contractor occurred.

National insured the Milwaukee World Festival. Amerisure insured Hunzinger Construction Co., which was contracting with Milwaukee World Festival, and the Amerisure policy included Milwaukee World Festival as an additional insured.

When an employee of Hunzinger sustained an injury on the Milwaukee World Festival premises, he filed this personal injury suit against both National and Amerisure. At issue in this case was the extent of Amerisure’s coverage.

Brenner settled his claim for an amount less than National’s personal injury limits. National argued Amerisure should share the defense and indemnification costs because both National and Amerisure were primary insurers of the Milwaukee World Festival. Amerisure argued it was an excess insurer.

The court agreed that Amerisure was an excess insurer liable for coverage only beyond the National policy limit. The National policy provided that its coverage was primary except when other primary insurance is available. The Amerisure policy provided that its coverage was excess unless a written contract requires it to be primary. Since no such contract existed, the Amerisure policy was excess coverage. Therefore, no other primary insurance was available, so National’s coverage was primary.