The insurance industry is probably calling and writing the editors of the FC&S Bulletin because the June 2009 edition correctly notes that Ensuing Loss Damage is covered under the ISO form policies for typical Chinese Drywall losses. I recently noted various coverage issues related to Chinese Drywall. A number of these cases are coming to our office because insurers are not affording first party coverage.
At page Q&A-1521, the editors had the following coverage discussion:
"What ISO policy exclusion under an HO3, if any, applies to a product defect? We have seen a couple of instances in Louisiana where the insureds are sustaining damage as a result of defective drywall made in China. This was used following Katrina to replenish shortages of drywall supplies."
The answer is very telling and provides hope to policyholders with these problems:
"The ISO HO 03 excludes loss to coverages A & B caused by faulty materials used in repair, construction renovation or remodeling. (See page 12 of the 10 00 policy.) Any ensuing loss as a result of the faulty drywall would be covered, for example if the drywall caused corrosion damage to wires or pipes."
This analysis is helpful, but each policy has to be examined carefully. As recently indicated in my post, “Is the State Farm Policy Worth Anything?” and my reply to Sandy Burnette‘s comment, “The Dirty Secret of Exclusions Some Major Insurance Companies Like State Farem, Allstate, Nationwide and Even USAA, Do Not Want You to Think About,” every policy has a little different language that can be significant.