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Individual words and their placement in insurance policy forms are what we use to interpret coverage: to trigger it, to deny it, to negotiate it. Courts that are called upon to rule on whether there is coverage in a particular situation do this all the time. They review the arguments for and against coverage, consider the wording of the policy forms, and review past reasoning in order to determine not what the words say, but what they mean.

In some instances the results are different, depending upon the jurisdiction that is handling the case and the arguments that have been made for or against coverage. An example is how various courts interpret the word “occupying” for purposes of auto coverage.

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