Five Hurricane Harvey Insurance Battlegrounds to Watch

September 6, 2017

Media Coverage

As Hurricane Harvey's floodwaters recede and losses fully come into focus, property owners and their insurers will likely lock horns over a slew of issues, including whether damage was caused by flooding or wind and how many separate events contributed to a loss.

Here, Law360 looks at five questions that may lead to clashes between policyholders and insurers in the hurricane's aftermath.


How Many Incidents?

"The typical thinking is that the insurers may try to push a multiple-occurrence position for the purpose of having multiple deductibles apply, and ultimately less coverage available," said Blank Rome LLP partner Jared Zola. "However, in the case where a policy has low retentions and per-occurrence limits, it may be in the policyholder's best interest to have multiple occurrences and multiple available limits."


Does Business Interruption Coverage Apply?

"[Contingent business interruption] coverage makes this storm more economically relevant for entities doing business all over the country and the world if, for example, property damage to the policyholder’s supplier prevents the supplier from providing goods or services at full capacity," said Zola. "Also, if customers are unable in whole or in part to receive the policyholder’s products due to property, the policyholder may also be able to  obtain coverage for those economic losses."

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"Five Hurricane Harvey Insurance Battlegrounds to Watch," by Jeff Sistrunk was published in Law360 on September 6, 2017.