Labor Day on the Jersey Shore is a big deal. People from all areas of New Jersey and Philadelphia come to the Shore to celebrate. The hotel I normally stay at in Red Bank is booked with weddings. Residents and visitors flock to the beach to enjoy the last big weekend before school begins and people get into their fall working mode and leave their beach homes.
I was thinking about all the people playing on the beaches and a most unusual exclusion in certain property insurance policies involving "ocean sand."
A number of entities we represent have policies that contain peculiar exclusions as to the types of property covered. Instead of excluding all sand, the policies exclude only "ocean sand." You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that Superstorm Sandy caused a lot of Jersey Shore beach sand to be lost. The policies do not define "ocean sand." They could have excluded all "sand" or "sand of whatever type." Instead, the exclusions are limited to "ocean sand."
I have represented golf courses that had policies which excluded specific types of sand. Sand in sand traps next to greens would often be covered, but "sand in waste traps" would be excluded property.
I have been laboring about how to define "ocean sand" as opposed to other types of sand commonly found in Shore areas since early April. While we were pondering this issue, Craig Speck wrote down all the types of sand we knew of. Here is the cocktail napkin we used to keep track of our nerdy exercise.
Have a great labor day and try not to work thinking about these nerdy insurance issues.