Texas Insurance Contract Interpretation Requires Endorsement Cannot Be Read Apart from Main Policy

Blank sections of a Liberty Mutual Insurance Policy Deductible Endorsement left three insureds and the insurance company with questions about who was responsible for the $1 million policy deductible following an automobile accident. The automobile accident in question occurred in May 2018 between an employee of Big Binder, L.L.C., and another vehicle. The employee, Raymond Goodlin was driving a tractor leased to Big Binder and was pulling a trailer owned by Darling Ingredients, Inc. Two of the other passengers involved in the accident filed suit against Big Binder, Goodlin, and Darling. Big Binder had a policy with Northland Insurance Company which provided auto liability coverage of $1 million per accident. Darling’s insurance policy with Liberty Mutual covered $2 million per accident, but it included the blank Deductible Endorsement. Following Texas law, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals considered the Deductible Endorsement as part of the main policy and interpreted it to “give effect to all provisions so that will be meaningless.” In this light, they concluded that the Deductible Endorsement does apply to the Liberty Mutual policy and that only the named insured, Darling, is responsible for meeting the deductible. Read the full case here.