Anti-concurrent cause provisions in insurance policies have been the topic of much discussion since Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the Northeast in the end of October 2012. Anti-concurrent cause provisions are favored by insurance carriers to support denials of coverage for Sandy losses. Recently, a New Jersey Assemblyman, Patrick Diegnan, proposed a bill (A4467) to eliminate anti-concurrent cause provisions that seek to exclude losses where both covered and non-covered perils occur at the same time.
Similar Bills have been proposed by politicians since Sandy. It appears that politicians have taken aim at anti-concurrent cause provisions of insurance policies since Sandy. This leads me to believe that politicians have recognized there is something inherently unfair in denying claims under anti-concurrent cause provisions particularly after a tragedy like Sandy. On May 27, 2013, I wrote about a similar Bill proposed in the New York Legislature: In Sandy’s Aftermath, A New York Congressman Proposes A Bill To Eliminate Anti-Concurrent Cause Provisions From Policies In New York. The most recent update for that Bill states that it has been “referred to Insurance.”
Litigation is getting underway over these anti-concurrent cause provisions. The insurance carrier and policyholder communities likely do not agree about the interpretation of these policy provisions and they likely disagree how these coverage cases will play out in Court.
We will continue to follow these proposed Bills and will provide updates on their progress.