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23 Idaho L. Rev. 379 (1986-1987)
Determining the Scope of Bodily Injury or Property Damage under the Comprehensive General Liability Policy

handle is hein.journals/idlr23 and id is 387 raw text is: DETERMINING THE SCOPE OF
The comprehensive general liability insurance policy' (CGL) is
perhaps the most important commercial insurance policy presently be-
ing offered. It is certainly the most frequently purchased.2 In hundreds
of reported cases, courts have struggled to interpret the meaning of its
complex policy terms.3
Since its inception, the CGL policy has been revised several
times. The 1966 and 1973 revisions are by far the most important.8
* Associate, Moffatt, Thomas, Barrett & Blanton, Chartered, Boise, Idaho. B.B.A.,
Washburn University of Topeka, 1980; J.D., University of Idaho, College of Law, 1982.
1. The CGL policy came into being in 1940 as part of an effort to standardize poli-
cies in the insurance industry. A standard policy facilitates comparison of coverage
issues among the various courts. Tinker, Comprehensive General Liability Insur-
ance-Perspective and Overview, 25 FED'N INS. COUN. Q. 217, 219 (1975).
2. Note, Liability Coverage for Damages Because of Property Damage Under
the Comprehensive General Liability Policy, 68 MINN. L. REV. 795, 798 (1984).
3. Without question the CGL is complex, but complexity should not be confused
with ambiguity. Note, Baybutt Construction Corp. v. Commercial Union Insurance
Co.: A Question of Ambiguity in Comprehensive General Liability Insurance Policies,
36 ME. L. REv. 179, 187-88 (1984). As stated by one commentator:
There is a difference between clarity and readability. The complexity of
the CGL form derives from the complexity of the thoughts and concepts being
expressed and the application of those concepts to widely varying facts. Stating
the policy terms in one syllable words and short sentences may contribute to
readability but not to understanding or clarity of thought as to how, where,
and to what extent they may be applicable in a given situation. Tinker, supra
note 1, at 222.
4. The CGL policy was revised in 1943, 1955, 1966, 1973, and 1976. McGlinchey
and Masinter, When Does Damage Occur Under CGL Policies, 36 FED'N INS. & CORP.
COUNS. 139, note 1 (1986).
5. Note, supra note 2, at 798. The 1966 policy was made uniform by the National
Bureau of Casualty Underwriters and the Mutual Insurance Rating Bureau (now known

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