A provision in a claims-made policy stating that the insurer remains liable for claims caused by wrongful acts that took place under an expired or canceled policy, for a certain time period.
For example, consider a policy written with a January 1, 2015-2016, term and a 5-year runoff provision. In this situation, coverage will apply under the runoff provision to all claims caused by wrongful acts committed during the January 1, 2015-2016, policy period that are made against the insured and reported to the insurer from January 1, 2016-2021 (i.e., the 5-year period immediately following the expiration of the January 1, 2015-2016, policy).
Although runoff provisions function in a manner that is identical to extended reporting period (ERP) provisions, there are several differences. First, ERPs are generally written for only 1-year terms, whereas runoff provisions normally encompass multi-year time spans, often as long as 5 years. Second, while ERPs are most frequently purchased when an insured changes from one claims-made insurer to another, runoff provisions are generally used when one insured is acquired by or merges with another. In such instances, the acquired company buys a runoff provision that covers claims associated with wrongful acts that took place prior to the acquisition but are made against the acquired company after it has been acquired.