Cosby Wants Home Insurance to Cover Legal Costs

AIG is fighting him on his 'personal injury' claims for defamation lawsuits
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2016 10:03 AM CDT
Cosby Wants Home Insurance to Cover Legal Costs
In this Oct. 26, 2009, file photo, comedian Bill Cosby, left, and his wife, Camille, appear at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Why anyone other than Bill Cosby should care about Bill Cosby's homeowners insurance may at first seem a mystery. But the beleaguered comedian is apparently taking advantage of the personal injury coverage linked to his AIG policy to deflect his growing legal costs as he fights the defamation suits filed against him by 10 women in three states, the New York Times reports. Cosby is leaning on coverage he has on homes in both Massachusetts and California, each with $1 million in limited liability coverage, as well as additional liability coverage of $35 million he holds with wife Camille, court records show. Cosby is said to want to use the money through the policies for both his defense and to pay out any final judgment costs. It's an uncommon way to use one's home coverage, but the Times notes it's been used in the past by the likes of Bill Clinton and OJ Simpson.

Most homeowners policies include bodily injury coverage in case someone gets hurt on one's property. But the rich often tack on umbrella policies that allow for personal injury coverage, including defamation lawsuits. AIG is currently ponying up legal fees for at least three of Cosby's five defamation cases, but it's battling in courts in Massachusetts, California, and Pennsylvania to get its money back, citing a "sexual misconduct exclusion." But a California judge ruled in November that the policy wasn't clearly worded and that the defamation suit brought against Cosby by Janice Dickinson was seeking damages for allegedly defamatory statements, not the alleged sexual assault. (AIG plans to appeal.) Meanwhile, a lawyer for seven women suing Cosby notes, "If the allegations are true, you can harm someone, and get somebody else to pay for your wrongdoing. God bless America! There is no financial responsibility." (More Bill Cosby stories.)

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