Bermuda Form

The Bermuda Form excess liability insurance policy was introduced in 1985 in response to a catastrophic reduction in global excess insurance capacity available to major corporation entities. This followed an onslaught of pollution and toxic tort litigation in the U.S. in the 1970s. Dispute resolution by means of binding arbitration in London, was and remains, an integral feature of the Form which has become a mainstay option to national and international corporations.

Similar forms have been adopted by domestic U.S., London and continental European based product and general liability insurers. The common factor is that claims are typically valued in the tens or hundreds of millions. The forms provide for disputes to be resolved by binding arbitration in the case of Bermuda Form, according to the substantive law of New York with London-based arbitration. Sedgwick has represented many different insurers in dozens of Bermuda Form arbitrations.

Sedgwick’s work for insurers encompasses a broad variety of catastrophic and mass/serial tort claims, including those derived from such industries as auto, pharmaceutical, agrichem, energy, utilities, building and packaging materials, transportation, medical devices, financial services and healthcare. Our team has advised insurers on a broad range of coverage issues arising from the unique features of the Form. This includes the definition of occurrence, the application of the “maintenance deductible,” as well as other expected and intended defenses and the application of various exclusions.

Sedgwick can provide a comprehensive service due to our broad, international footprint. Our London office is staffed by locally admitted lawyers who are fully qualified and experienced to act for insurers in all manner of disputed insurance situations. Sedgwick also has full-service offices in U.S. cities located in major litigation centers. We are positioned to locally investigate the underlying facts and litigation status of mass tort litigation and catastrophic events efficiently and cost effectively, providing a seamless service which exploits time zone differences.

When an arbitration notice is served, Sedgwick is uniquely prepared to represent insurers at this next step. Our team of London and U.S. lawyers is knowledgeable and experienced in the tactical and procedural nuances of arbitrations under the laws of those jurisdictions.

Representative Experience

Successful arbitrations include:
  • Arbitration award for insurer in a major agrichem loss
  • Award for an insurer in a dispute over a complex environmental loss
  • Award for an insurer in a large auto product liability loss
  • Award for an insurer in an employee benefit coverage dispute
  • Award for an insurer in a coverage dispute over a contraceptive drug
  • Award for an insurer in an industrial pollution coverage dispute
  • Award for an insurer in dispute over liability for mitigation costs, and pollution and defense costs
  • Award for an insurer in a large building material loss