Question from an IIABNY member: Does the New York unlimited Employers Liability coverage in a Workers Compensation policy written by either the State Insurance Fund or a privagte insurer also apply to injuries to New York workers that occur out of New York state, or does the basic $100/500/100 EL limit apply to those injuries?
Answer: The New York Limit of Liability Endorsement makes the EL coverage unlimited for bodily injury arising out of and in the course of employment that is covered by the New York Workers’ Compensation Law. In most cases, an employee temporarily out of state can still claim New York workers' compensation benefits benefits for an injury, so the Workers' Compensation Law still covers that employment. In this case, the employer has unlimited EL coverage for an injury occurring out of state.
To illustrate, suppose a New York employee is working on a construction project in New Jersey. A guard falls off the tool he’s using and the tool cuts off two of his fingers. He collects New York workers' compensation benefits from his employer but also sues the tool’s manufacturer and distributor (he can do this under New York law because he suffered a “grave injury”; one meaning of that term is loss of multiple fingers.) The manufacturer and distributor in turn sue the employer. In this scenario, the employer has unlimited coverage for the lawsuit.
The unlimited coverage applies only to employments covered by the New York Workers' Compensation law. A private school is subject to the limits shown on its policy's declarations page if a math teacher falls down the stairs and breaks his ankle while leading his students to the lunch room.