Blog Archives

Iowa Court: Anti-Concurrent Causation Language Mandates That the Jury Determine Whether an Excluded Peril Was One Cause of the Loss

Last month, we discussed a recent Texas Supreme Court decision that enforced an anti-concurrent causation (ACC) clause.  The month of April also saw a unanimous panel on Iowa’s intermediate level appellate court do the same thing.  In Salem United Methodist Church v. Church Mut. Ins. Co., 2015 WL 1546431, 2015 Iowa App. LEXIS 308 (Iowa Ct. App., Apr. 8, 2015), the judges held that ACC provisions unambiguously exclude loss caused by a concurrent combination of excluded perils and included perils and that the question of whether an excluded peril played any causative role must therefore be put to the finder of fact. The policyholder had a church in Cedar Rapids.  On June 11-12, 2008, the Cedar River overflowed its banks,

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Posted in Anti-Concurrent Causation, Flood, Water

Iowa’s Highest Court: Damage by Rainwater is Damage by Rain

Last July, we posted that an intermediate level appellate court in Iowa had held that a policy excluding loss “caused by rain” did not bar coverage for loss occasioned by the non-excluded peril of “rainwater.”  On Friday, the state’s highest court threw cold water on such nonsense, holding that there was no distinction between rain and rainwater for coverage purposes.  No justice disagreed, though the court split 4-3 on another issue.  The decision can be found at Amish Connection, Inc. v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 2015 WL 1260085, 2015 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 32 (Iowa, Mar. 20, 2015). The insured operated the Amish Connection Store in Crossroads Shopping Mall in Waterloo, Iowa.  Rooftop drains discharged into a 4” cast-iron

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Posted in Anti-Concurrent Causation, Corrosion, Ensuing Loss, Flood, Water

Iowa Decision Underscores the Danger of Sharing Privileged Material with Reinsurers

Last month, a federal court in Iowa handed down a decision holding that neither work product nor attorney-client nor the common interest doctrine shield legal advice and analysis from production in  discovery once it has been shared with a carrier’s reinsurers.  The case – Progressive Cas. Ins. Co. v. F.D.I.C., — F.R.D.— , 2014 WL 4168577, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116909 (W.D. Iowa, Aug. 22, 2014) – involved a directors & officers (“D&O”) liability policy rather than a first party property insurance policy, but it nonetheless sounds a cautionary note about the potential consequences of such disclosures. The case arose after the Office of Thrift Supervision closed Vantus Bank and appointed the FDIC as its receiver.  The FDIC then filed

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Posted in Privilege, Reinsurance

In Iowa, Rain is What Gene Kelly Sang In – Not Water From a Burst Drain Pipe

Earlier this year, an Iowa court recognized that rain becomes rainwater once it has fallen, and it held that policy language excluding loss caused by “rain” – without more – will not operate to bar coverage for water from a burst drain pipe that ruptured during a rainstorm.  The decision is reported at Amish Connection, Inc. v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 847 N.W.2d 237, 2014 WL 1234161 (Iowa Ct. App., March 26, 2014). The insured, Amish Connection, Inc., leased space in a mall in Waterloo, Iowa, and its merchandise was damaged after a 4” cast iron drain pipe above the ceiling burst during a rainstorm.  The pipe carried water from the roof drains to a storm sewer.  The

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Posted in Flood, Water
About The Property Insurance Law Observer
For more than four decades, Cozen O’Connor has represented all types of property insurers in jurisdictions throughout the United States, and it is dedicated to keeping its clients abreast of developments that impact the insurance industry. The Property Insurance Law Observer will survey court decisions, enacted or proposed legislation, and regulatory activities from all 50 states. We will also include commentary on current issues and developing trends of interest to first-party insurers.
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