Anti-concurrent causation clause

Joseph J. Henderson & Sons, Inc. (Henderson), was hired to install panels on a roof designed to expand the Iowa City’s wastewater treatment facility. Henderson was also a named insured on the builder’s risk insurance policy issued by Travelers Property and Casualty Company of America. The panels were damaged during a windstorm event and Henderson filed a claim with Travelers. Travelers responded by denying the claim, stating they were not liable due to Henderson’s faulty workmanship. The case went to trial where Henderson won $581,235.65 in damages, and Travelers appealed.1
Continue Reading Appellate Court Rules Contractor’s Faulty Workmanship Did Not Bar Coverage

This reminds me of a well-known phrase my mother used to say to ensure I knew I could never get away with well-organized mischief without her knowing. The saying goes: “You can’t pull the wool over the wool puller’s eyes.” Many carriers try their darndest to do just that: pull the wool over their own policyholders’ eyes without raising an eyebrow. Not that policyholders are the wool pullers, but you catch my drift.
Continue Reading My Insurance Company Denied My Claim for Loss of Business Income Because My Property Damages Were Caused by Both Wind and Flood – Can They Do That?

Last year, I wrote about a New Jersey federal court decision that involved an insurance policy’s anti-concurrent causation clause. An anti-concurrent causation clause bars coverage when two identifiable causes-one covered and one not covered-contribute to a single loss. In that case, the court dismissed the insured’s claim for damages to certain portions of the property, noting that federal and state courts in New Jersey have applied and enforced anti-concurrent causation provisions.
Continue Reading New Jersey Introduces Legislation That Prohibits Anti-Concurrent Causation Clauses In Homeowners Insurance Policies

Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting at the Spring Meeting & Seminar of the Professional Public Adjusters Association of New Jersey (“PPAANJ”). One of the more thoroughly discussed topics during my presentation was a recent New Jersey federal court decision involving insurance policy language commonly known as an anti-concurrent/anti-sequential causation clause.1 The clause bars coverage when two identifiable causes-one covered and one not covered-contribute to a single loss.2
Continue Reading Anti-Concurrent Clause Enforced Where Loss Was Caused By Covered and Non-Covered Perils

Coverage questions under an “all-risk” insurance policy, in their simplest form, are typically determined by whether the peril is expressly limited or excluded. But what happens when multiple perils, both covered and excluded, combine to cause a loss? From this scenario developed the theory of “concurrent causation.”
Continue Reading The Realty of Colorado’s Anti-Concurrent Cause Exclusion Law

Peter N. Swisher, a Law Professor at University of Richmond Law School, wrote an article recently published in the Tulane Law Review, with a title containing the question every insurance customer suffering from claim denial asks: "Why Won’t My Homeowners Insurance Cover My Loss?": Reassessing Property Insurance Concurrent Causation Coverage Disputes.1

Continue Reading Anti-Concurrent Cause Exclusions Invite Unreasonable Denials and Worthless Property Insurance Coverage

When multiple events cause damage, is there coverage? If language in the policy addresses concurrent causes of loss, then that language usually answers the question. If the policy is ambiguous, then look to case law. This was recently discussed in Salem United Methodist Church of Cedar Rapids, Iowa v. Church Mutual Insurance Company.1

Continue Reading Concurrent Causes of Loss Discussed in Recent Case

Many insurance policies specifically exclude earth movement and if the facts permit, the insurance company may raise this exclusion when a claim is asserted. This issue is currently being litigated in Superstorm Sandy cases in both New York and New Jersey. A recent Eastern District of New York federal court decision discussed the earth movement exclusion in a case involving an auto parts company warehouse in New York which sustained significant damage when a portion of the concrete floor collapsed.1 The auto parts company had stored steel racks with auto parts that weighed about 2 to 3 tons. Therefore, when the loss occurred, the policyholder asserted that the loss was covered under the policy provision which covered damage from a collapse caused by the “weight of people or personal property.”

Continue Reading New York Federal Court Upholds Earth Movement Exclusion Where Soil Settlement Contributes to Collapse

I have previously written about several Hurricane Sandy-inspired bills in New York and New Jersey, noting how they appear to have policyholder interests at the forefront of their terms. A little over a month ago, in Legislation Proposed In New Jersey To Eliminate Anti-Concurrent Cause Provisions From Insurance Policies, I wrote about a bill proposed in the New Jersey Legislature (A4467) that would eliminate anti-concurrent cause provisions excluding losses where both covered and non-covered perils occur at the same time. A similar bill was proposed in New York (A07455) to outlaw anti-concurrent policy provisions, as noted in my post, In Sandy’s Aftermath, A New York Congressman Proposes A Bill To Eliminate Anti-Concurrent Cause Provisions From Policies In New York.

Continue Reading Is There A Battle Going On Over Hurricane Sandy-Inspired Bills That Propose To Eliminate Anti-concurrent Cause Provisions From Policies?