Katrina anti-concurrent cause language

I mentioned earlier that I was writing an article on the anti-concurrent cause language in homeowners policies, specifically relating to Katrina coverage cases.  Actually, I’m doing two articles: here’s the shorter one, published yesterday at riskVue, the online publication.  The other one is much, much bigger, will be done at the end of this month and will be appearing in another venue.

2 Comments

Filed under First Party Insurance

2 Responses to Katrina anti-concurrent cause language

  1. James P. Reilly

    Just read the ‘news’ that the 5th Circuit does not find Nationwide’s Anti-Concurrent Causation clause to be ambiguous. As always, the Chicken Little’s of the world are running around with their heads chopped off.
    You remain one of the FEW voices of sanity surrounding this whole issue. Your comments re Judge Senter’s ruling wherein you state “such language is only operable where multiple causes combine and result in the same damage.” You are brilliant! What can be done to get Rep. Taylor back in his cage?
    I don’t necessarily agree with Mr. Hartwig stating that the position of the insurance industry is “purchase of a flood insurance policy along with a homeowners’ insurance policy will provide complete protection in the event of a catastrophic event.” I pray that is NOT the position of ‘the insurance industry’.
    And finally, Arthur Postal (whose opinion I generally hold in high regard) seems to say “The anti-concurrent causation clause is used to override a damage claim from a covered cause such as wind when an event such as flood, which is excluded in the policy language, occurs in the same time period.” I don’t know the meaning of ‘override’ in this context, but Mr. Postal is not saying what I think he is saying, is he?

  2. Taylor’s wind coverage bill may pass the House, but I doubt it will get through the Senate, and Bush has said he will veto it anyway, so it’s not going anywhere. Most of this stuff will just quietly go away, the McCarran-Ferguson talks, all of that.
    Regarding Harwig’s comments, for homes worth more than $250,000, flood coverage isn’t typically available except perhaps at some completely unaffordable rate. The Postal comment is a little loose, it might be more accurate to say that the anti-concurrent cause language overrides any default methodology for analyzing causation, such as efficient proximate cause. It really doesn’t override a damage claim, when the language is operable it excludes damage from coverage. The phraseology is interesting, because in the minds of the media and the public that is how anti-concurrent language has been protrayed, as some kind of ace up the sleeve of insurance companies that is held back until all the results are in, and then played to trump a legit claim.