2540 Associates Inc. v. Assicurazioni Generali

In 2540 Associates Inc. v. Assicurazioni Generali, 271 A.D.2d 282 (1st Dept. 2000), the insurer received notice in 1996 of an accident but did know "when the insured became aware of the 1991 injury at its premises", which accident was the subject of an action commenced in 1993. The insurer conducted an investigation and discovered that the insured knew of the accident when it occurred and failed to notify the carrier in a timely manner. The insurance company disclaimed coverage approximately two months after receiving notice but only one week after obtaining information sufficient to allow it to disclaim coverage. In sustaining the timeliness of the disclaimer, the court stated that, "the moment from which the timeliness of an insurer's disclaimer is measured is the date on which it first receives information that would disqualify the claim, not the date on which it receives the insured's notice of claim" (p. 283). The court found a week was a timely period for disclaimer as a matter of law. However, in that case an investigation as to when the insured learned of the claim was required as the insured had disavowed knowledge of the accident or receipt of the pleadings, which had been served upon the Secretary of State, and claimed that he only learned about the matter in the course of refinancing its property in 1996.