View Full Version : This is just WRONG!!!

08-15-2006, 02:48 PM
GULFPORT, Miss. - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that an insurance company's policies do not cover damage from wind-driven water in a decision that could affect hundreds of upcoming cases related to property damage from Hurricane Katrina.
U.S. District Judge L.T. Senter Jr. ruled that a Mississippi Gulf Coast couple cannot collect damages from storm surge caused by Katrina because Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.'s policies do not cover wind-driven water damage.

Senter Jr. said Paul and Julie Leonard of Pascagoula could be compensated for damage that they could prove was caused by high winds, however.

"Almost all the damage to the Leonard residence is attributable to the incursion of water," Senter wrote in the 13-page decision.

Senter's ruling could set a precedent for hundreds of other court challenges to the insurance industry for denying billions of dollars in claims after the Aug. 29 hurricane ravaged the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Although Senter ruled that Nationwide's policies do not cover damage from storm surge, the judge also concluded a key policy provision the company has used to deny coverage is ambiguous.

Nationwide and other insurers say their homeowners policies cover damage from a hurricane's wind, but not in cases where it resulted from a combination of wind and water.

"This reading of the policy would mean that an insured whose dwelling lost its roof in high winds and at the same time suffered an incursion of even an inch of water could recover nothing under his Nationwide policy," he wrote.

The Leonards had estimated the total damage to their home at $130,253. They said $47,365 in damage was caused by wind. Nationwide paid only $1,661, blaming the remainder on the storm surge.

The Leonards claimed a Nationwide agent told them they didn't need flood insurance.

Senter rejected the Leonards' claim that the agent's alleged assurances make Nationwide liable for damage from both wind and water. Paul Leonard mistakenly inferred that his policy covered water damage, the judge ruled.

"Fletcher did not materially misrepresent the terms of the Nationwide homeowners policy to the Leonards, and Fletcher did not make any statements which could be reasonably understood to alter the terms of the Nationwide policy," Senter wrote.

The couple's lawsuit was the first among hundreds of Katrina insurance cases to be tried since the storm slammed into the Gulf Coast nearly a year ago, demolishing tens of thousands of homes.

Senter presided over an eight-day trial without a jury last month. He is hearing virtually all the Katrina insurance cases in Mississippi, so his ruling will be scrutinized by thousands of Gulf Coast homeowners as well as the nation's top insurers

08-15-2006, 02:54 PM
I don't know what the case is in court but I can tell you wind driven rain is not covered on a flood policy by the definition of a flood. Wind driven rain can be excluded on a wind policy under exclusions. Not always excluded but may be. After last seasons storms you can bet the insurance companies will exclude more or the premiums will go up or both will be so high no one can afford to live in any coastal area.

east tx skier
08-15-2006, 03:36 PM
Just about everything wet is excluded on my home ins. policy. Can't say this surprises me.

08-15-2006, 03:38 PM
Sad.......I see both sides. In the end I still hate Big insurance........

east tx skier
08-15-2006, 03:52 PM
Sad.......I see both sides. In the end I still hate Big insurance........

Something so wrong about the fact that I pay for something and have apprehensions about using it.

08-15-2006, 03:53 PM
wow! I'd hate to be in that situation for sure

we have windstorm coverage with our homeowners but not flood or rising water, which we have covered thru flood insurance purchased seperately

I don't want to even think about what happens when I need to claim
funny how all your life you pay thru the nose for insurance and we are watching folks one year later, fighting it out with the people who have accepted their premiums all these years to pay for what they gladly said they'd cover?

I know there are details but in principle the whole thing stinks..

Had your car wrecked lately?......

08-15-2006, 04:04 PM
If it is not apparent by now, homeowners in the same county as coastal waters need to rethink flood insurance. I live in the Florida panhandle where the local government tells me I DON'T need flood insurance. I bought a policy last October in the wake of Katrina. My advice is if you live below I-10 you better look to flood insurance. My 2 cents.:(

08-15-2006, 04:18 PM
That is a Bunch of B$. I understand that the possibility of INS fraud is out there, but come on when some ones house is full of water and they have nothing left some big INS Co. wants to stick it to them a little more. I'm sorry this just makes me sick!!!!!!!!! :mad:

08-15-2006, 04:20 PM
In Florida there is an additional 2% added to our renewal to cover the State sponsored insurance program. This program is primarily for South Florida home owners where insurance companies will not write policies because they want to limit their exposure. Also, last year 3 small insurance companies failed due to Hurricane Wilma. So the State assessed us another 2% on our premium to cover their loses. My premium has more than doubled over the past two years and has a lot more exclusions. My deductible goes from $500 to 2% of the stated value of the house once it becomes a hurricane and for 72 hours after it passes.....

And to add insult to injury our insurance comissioner is running for Governor and the papers have reported he owned stock in insurance companies. I DON"T THINK HE'LL GET MY VOTE!

08-15-2006, 04:24 PM
Something so wrong about the fact that I pay for something and have apprehensions about using it.

TRU DAT........

08-15-2006, 04:27 PM
You hope you never have to use it, and if you do, you might be dropped. Happened around here to high wind victims.

Here's a TRUE STORY: At a friends house in a lake district with private sewer (a sanitary assoc), system failure backed up hundreds of gallons of sewage into his house. His ins co made it VERY difficult to collect. At one point on the phone, the insurance personnel told him he would have to prove it was HIS FAMILY's sewage in order to collect. (hey kids, come here and tell me if you recognize this ?!?!?!?!) And that he should WAIT to clean it up until they made decisions or they threatened not to pay anything.

There are LOTS of stories....