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As a rule, liability insurance policies contain a condition requiring timely notice of a claim against the insured, so that the insurer has an opportunity to adequately investigate and defend the claim.  A recurring issue is what happens when notice is not timely.  Does the insured lose coverage, automatically, or only when the insurer is prejudiced by the late notice? 

The answer can vary depending on what state’s law applies – in Wisconsin, this issue is seemingly answered not as much by policy language or case law but by two different statutes, Wis. Stat. §§ 631.81 and 632.26, each of which expressly states than an insured loses coverage only where the insurer is “prejudiced” by late notice.  

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