Insurance Contracts Interpretation In Ohio
"In Ohio, insurance contracts are construed as any other written contract." Andray v. Elling, 6th Dist. No. L-04-1150, 2005 Ohio 1026, P18, citing Hybud Equip. Corp. v. Sphere Drake Ins. Co., Ltd. (1992), 64 Ohio St. 3d 657, 665, 597 N.E.2d 1096.
If the language of the policy is clear and unambiguous, there are no issues of fact and interpretation is a matter of law. Inland Refuse Transfer Co. v. Browning-Ferris Industries of Ohio, Inc. (1984), 15 Ohio St.3d 321, 322, 15 Ohio B. 448, 474 N.E.2d 271, citing Alexander v. Buckeye Pipe Line Co. (1978), 53 Ohio St.2d 241, 374 N.E.2d 146.
On the other hand, policies that are "reasonably susceptible of more than one interpretation, will be construed strictly against the insurer and liberally in favor of the insured." Lane v. Grange Mut. Cos. (1989), 45 Ohio St.3d 63, 65, 543 N.E.2d 488.
Whether the policy was clear and unambiguous or required interpretation, therefore, was a proper issue for summary judgment.