Chapter 24 - § 24.4 • GOVERNING LAW


As with contracts generally, an insurance policy can designate the governing law. Particularly with commercial coverage, insurance companies will designate as the governing law a state's law that is more favorable to the insurer (such as New York). Conversely, it is unlikely that an insurance company would designate California law as the governing law both because it is an insured-friendly state and because it has procedural protections such as the requirement that a waiver of a right to jury trial in advance of the filing of a suit is only valid if the parties have agreed to arbitration or a judicial referee.14 Colorado law falls someplace in between these two extremes.

With large corporate insureds, the choice of law analysis increasingly looks to the corporate headquarters from which the company purchased its insurance coverage and where its brokers are located versus looking to the individual physical locations at which the injury or loss may have occurred.15



[14] See Rincon EV Realty, LLC v. CP III Rincon Towers, Inc., 8 Cal. App. 5th 1 ( 2017) (where the financing documents provided New York was the governing law, but the subject real property and the court were located in California, established California choice of law principles required that California law applied and set aside the contract's waiver of the right to a jury trial).

[15] See, e.g., Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London v. Chemtura Corp., No. 317-2016, 2017 WL 1090544 (Del. Mar. 23, 2017) (insured, the successor to Uniroyal, sought insurance coverage for environmental contamination at sites in Arkansas and Ohio). There, the Delaware Supreme Court found New York law...

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