The short answer is yes. In Conway v. Farmers Home Mutual Insurance Company, the California Court of Appeal followed several out-of-state authorities in considering the issue and ruling in favor for the insured.1 Chip Merlin raised this issue with respect to Texas back in 2009 – finding that the courts there apply the law a bit differently. You can revisit the blog here: Obtaining Full Replacement Cost Benefits Through Replacement at a Different Location – Texas Style.
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Insurance provisions related to explosions, like all other terms, are subject to the rules of construction applied to all insurance contracts. Typically, property damage caused by explosions is covered under the policy. However, some policies may expressly define the term “explosion” to exclude events that would generally be defined as such.1 For instance, policies may exclude and thus not cover any of these instances that would seem to constitute an explosion: shock waves caused by aircraft (“sonic boom”), electric arcing, rupture, or bursting of rotating or moving parts of machinery caused by centrifugal force or mechanical breakdown, water hammers, rupture or bursting of water pipes, rupture or bursting due to expansion or swelling of the contents of any building or structure caused by or resulting from water, or rupture, bursting or operation of pressure relief devices.2
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Often, your insurance policy will protect your property from loss by burglary, larceny, and other types of offenses. However, policies also contain numerous exclusions so it is important to read the small type in these policies because insurance companies often narrow these common-law offenses by placing certain requirements on the activity. For instance, the policy may require entry by the wrongdoer with force and violence greater than that employed in any breaking to effect an entry.1 This technicality could mean the difference between a covered loss vs. an out of pocket loss.
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Many homeowners don’t realize that a standard homeowner policy does not cover flood damage. That is why it is so important to purchase additional insurance for floods. Federally subsidized flood insurance is available, providing limited coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program: up to $250,000 for single family dwellings plus $100,000 for personal property, including furniture, and up to $500,000 for business and church properties, plus $500,000 for the contents.1
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