The term "as their interests may appear" (ATIMA) is a standard line in a business insurance policy that extends the coverage to some other parties doing business with the insured. The parties or their covered property may not be specifically named in the policy.
The term encompasses damages to the property of subcontractors, vendors, or rental equipment operators working with or for the insured company but is limited to assets in use by the insured company.
- The purpose of an ATIMA is to extend insurance coverage to companies that the insured does business with.
- The coverage is only for losses directly attributed to the business the companies do together.
- Insurance for builders commonly includes ATIMA since they work with many subcontractors in the course of a project.
A related insurance contract term is "its successors and/or assigns as their interests may appear" (ISAOA/ATIMA or ISAOA ATIMA). This language is used in a so-called "closing protection letter" that title insurers add to title insurance policies in order to protect banks and borrowers in real estate transactions and, later on, to protect financial institutions in the secondary mortgage market. It insures those parties for any losses caused by negligence or fraud.
ATIMA extends an insurance policy's coverage to include companies that work with the insured company without requiring that they be named in the policy. For example, the insured company may use equipment rented from another company. This other party may be covered as an “additional insured.” The company and every item of equipment it rents to the insured does not have to be listed in the policy. It is covered by the term “as their interests may appear.”
Problems with ATIMA Coverage
The International Risk Management Institute warns that the actual extent of the coverage included with this term may be open to different interpretations by the insured and the insurer. If the dispute goes to court, it also is open to interpretation by a judge or a jury.
Moreover, additional insureds may not have the same rights as the named insured in the policy itself. The insured company may change or cancel its policy without notifying the additional insured parties.
The International Risk Management Institute warns that ATIMA coverage can be open to different interpretations by the insured and the insurer.
Additional insureds are in any case limited to the amount of insurable interest they have in the risks covered in the insurance policy. For example, say a company purchases a property insurance policy to protect against damage to the contents of its office building. The company rents a water cooler from another company. That party is included as an additional insured. The water cooler is covered but nothing else belonging to the company is.
Common Use of ATIMA
Historically, underwriters may have borrowed the phrase ATIMA from marine policies that were written to include the cargo being carried by a ship regardless of the actual ownership of the goods.
The phrase now commonly appears in insurance policies purchased by builders, who may employ many subcontractors in the course of a project.
How Claims Are Paid
If a claim is made against the insurance policy, an additional insured party with interest listed as ATIMA may be listed in the overall claims settlement.
However, how the additional insured is paid depends on how the insurer processes its claims. It may write a single check and leave it up to the insured company to resolve the matter rather than pay the additional party directly.