Recently, an Ohio FC&S reader wondered, more specifically worried, whether liability-based theories involving progressive damage could be applied in first-party property loss situations. That is not quite the way that the subscriber put his question, but that is what he was getting at.

What does that mean? Progressive losses are when damage to insured property occurs continuously over a period of time, stretching into two or more insurance policy periods. In the liability arena, various coverage trigger theories have developed, such as the manifestation theory (when the damage first becomes or should become evident) and the triple-trigger theory (each single event leading to the ultimate damage is another manifestation of damage, triggering all policies that may have been issued to the insured during the period leading to the ultimate damage). These theories developed out of asbestos litigation and other cases in which bodily injury could be argued to have occurred at various (and multiple) times in the causation chain.

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