Submitted by guyadams on May 24, 2006

Interpreting “beyond that already extended”

I have run into a slight dispute at work regarding the following statement and the context is travel insurance.

“The company will not reimburse for any additional cover beyond that already extended”

There then follows a short list of 3 or 4 items such as health insurance, life cover, baggage.

1. I interpreted the statement as follows: The company would not reimburse for cover that was additional in the specific categories already noted. For example increasing the amount of life cover would be such a case where no reimbursement would be paid. However I interpreted the statement as meaning that if the requested reimbursement was for insurance that was not in one of these noted areas i.e. had not already been ‘extended’ then a claim would be valid. In hindsight I feel that I have used the ability to possibly twist the interpretation into a situation where a modest claim for personal liability insurance cover of £70 (which was not a listed item) will be rejected.

2. 2 colleagues thought that the meaning was simple - no reimbursement for ANY additional cover. I can see this point but if that was what was intended why did the statement not just read ‘ The company will not reimburse any additional cover’?

Any ideas or somewhere where I can gather some opinions? BTW I am more interested in the principal and ensuring the correct wording for others in future than the actual claim.

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I have a feeling that this is a case where the writer added a superfluous clause, just because the sentence sounded more professional with it.

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Although I agree with dyske, my initial reaction would have been to interpret the list in the *opposite* way you did. I'd have guessed that the list was a list of the coverage that *had* already been extended, and that the sentence was attempting to say that nothing *beyond* them would be added.

But it's a horribly written and confusing sentence. If your coworkers were correct, it should have just said what you suggested. Otherwise, it should have said something like:

This policy provides for reimbursement following areas:
-a
-b
-c
-...
The company will not reimburse claims in except in these areas.

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