Florida Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company v. Mathis
— So.3d —-, 35 Fla. L. Weekly D868a, 2010 WL 1542631
(Fla. 1st DCA April 20, 2010)

Florida Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company appealed a final judgment in favor of the Mathises, awarding them their homeowners policy limits. Hurricane Ivan caused substantial wind and flood damage to the Mathises’ home. The home was insured with a flood insurance policy with policy limits of $250,000, issued pursuant to the National Flood Insurance, and with a Florida Farm homeowners policy with policy limits of $295,600, which covered windstorm damage but excluded flood.


Continue Reading Florida’s First District Court of Appeal Issues an Opinion on Valued Policy Law

A Hurricane Ivan claim that involved flood and sewer back up was not excluded because of the anticoncurrent causation clause in Bishops, Inc. v. Penn National Ins., Case Nos. 2275 WDA 2007, 35 WDA 2008 (Pa. Super. Nov. 24, 2009). The important aspect of this case is how an endorsement purchased to cover sewer back up rendered the anticoncurrent cause clause ineffective for sewer back up as well as income and extra expense coverage. Some decisions are quite easy to analyze, while others make you read portions of a court’s reasoning two or three times. This case is the latter. My tip for policyholders from this case is to always review your endorsements to see if additional coverage is provided.


Continue Reading Hurricane Anticoncurrent Causation Case and Policyholder Wins! Endorsement Trumps Exclusion

(*Chip Merlin’s Note–Rocco Calaci has been a noted meteorology expert witness in the Katrina Legal Wars. I met him at a recent FAPIA Convention where he presented a speech about hurricanes. I invited Rocco to write on today’s topic after he briefly mentioned it in his speech.)

Since the release of the Saffir-Simpson Scale in the late 1960’s, it has been considered the “standard” in how hurricanes have been categorized. It is my personal opinion that the Saffir-Simpson Scale is no longer relevant due to new technologies and the fact that the estimated levels of destruction rarely match the actual destruction observed from hurricanes over the past decade.

The use of the Saffir-Simpson Scale, along with other meteorological “beliefs”, must be put aside and replaced by factual and verifiable research.


Continue Reading Is The Saffir-Simpson Scale Still Relevant