Agreeing with a trial judge that The Home Insurance Co.’s defense of an insured under a reservation of rights was, among other things, “ham-handed and witless,” and thus The Home is estopped from asserting policy defenses, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 10 found that the insurer must provide coverage (Willis Corroon Corp. v. The Home Insurance Co., et al., No. 99-1799, 7th Cir.).

The 7th Circuit affirmed a $163,663 award under Section 155 of the Illinois Insurance Code for Home’s “vexatious and unreasonable” conduct. The court also affirmed attorneys’ fees and costs.