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Municipal Insurance

Definition of "Municipal insurance"

Property and/or liability coverage for a municipality. Municipalities are responsible for maintenance of through ways as well as a myriad of public services. Liability insurance for municipalities became an issue in the insurance crunch of 1985-1986, when this coverage became difficult to find, or became overly expensive. The problem was aggravated by court decisions in negligence cases in which the doctrine of joint and several liability came into play. This doctrine provides that a judgment against several defendants could be collected from one if the others were unable to pay. A municipality found to have been 10% liable in a traffic accident because of the improper placement of a stop sign might end up paying 100% of the judgment if the driver who was 90% responsible had no assets. This resulted in sharply higher premiums for municipal insurance.

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