Insurance Law

Texas Supreme Court Blows Away Coverage For Hurricanes

Tapas: Small Dishes of Insurance Coverage News & Notes

Texas Supreme Court Blows Away Coverage For Hurricanes
Coverage for hurricanes was all the talk in the few years following Katrina. Much of the action focused on Louisiana and Mississippi law. The topic has been relatively quiet over the past few years. The main issue is this. Homeowner’s policies generally cover wind but not water damage. Hurricane damage can be a combination of both – especially in a coastal area. Following Katrina, where this was a significant issue, courts grappled with it. In particular, the issue turned on the interpretation of the anti-concurrent causation clause in a property policy. In a case of first impression, the Supreme of Texas took its turn at it in JAW the Pointe, LLC v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 13-0711 (Tex. Apr. 24, 2015), [enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers]. In very general terms, the Texas high court, interpreting the anti-concurrent causation clause, held that no coverage was owed for otherwise covered wind damage from Hurricane Ike because the property damage at issue was also caused, either concurrently or in sequence, by flood. JAW the Pointe will fly under the radar for now. But if (when) there is a significant hurricane in Texas, especially near the Gulf Coast, it will have a huge impact in precluding coverage in many cases.

Coverage Opinions is a bi-weekly (or more frequently) electronic newsletter reporting or providing commentary on just-issued decisions from courts nationally addressing insurance coverage disputes. Coverage Opinions focuses on decisions that concern numerous issues under commercial general liability and professional liability insurance policies. For more information visit www.coverageopinions.info.

The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and not necessarily those of his firm or its clients. The information contained herein shall not be considered legal advice. You are advised to consult with an attorney concerning how any of the issues addressed herein may apply to your own situation. Coverage Opinions is gluten free but may contain peanut products.

    Randy Maniloff is Counsel at White and Williams, LLP in Philadelphia. He previously served as a firm Partner for seven years and transitioned to a Counsel position to pursue certain writing projects including Coverage Opinions . Nonetheless he still maintains a full-time practice at the firm. Randy concentrates his practice in the representation of insurers in coverage disputes over primary and excess obligations under a host of policies, including commercial general liability and various professional liability policies, such as public official’s, law enforcement, educator’s, media, computer technology, architects and engineers, lawyers, real estate agents, community associations, environmental contractors, Indian tribes and several others. Randy has significant experience in coverage for environmental damage and toxic torts, liquor liability and construction defect, including additional insured and contractual indemnity issues. Randy is co-author of “General Liability Insurance Coverage - Key Issues In Every State” (Oxford University Press, 2nd Edition, 2012). For the past twelve years Randy has published a year-end article that addresses the ten most significant insurance coverage decisions of the year completed.

Read more from this issue of Coverage Opinions.

For more information about LexisNexis products and solutions connect with us through our corporate site