Some insurance policies declare themselves inapplicable to injuries or losses that are covered by other policies. What happens if an injured person holds two such policies?

If the provisions are interpreted strictly, “then each would become inapplicable,” notes Earlham College philosopher Peter Suber. “But as soon as they were inapplicable, they would each trigger the other’s applicability again, and so on.”

“The policy-holder would either be entitled to nothing or to benefits from at least one policy, to be determined by an unending and indeterminable oscillation of liability.”