Following the breakup of large utility holding companies by trust busters in the 1930s, General Electric created Ebasco (Electric Bond and Share Company), a construction company and consultancy that, among other things, assisted newly independent utilities throughout the United States to obtain broad excess-level occurrence-based liability insurance policies. These so-called Ebasco policies were attractive to utility policyholders because of their comprehensive insuring agreement, modest exclusions (e.g., no pollution exclusions), and the absence of aggregate limits. Illustratively, a $10 million Ebasco policy potentially could pay up to 20 times its limits (equivalent to $200 million) to fund cleanup of 20 contaminated sites, assuming an occurrence at each site happened during the policy period. For decades, Ebasco policies, primarily underwritten by London market insurers, have been the subject of litigation related to pollution, asbestos and human health claims.
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