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Showing posts from December, 2016

Maritime Law--Florida Supreme Court Finds Concurrent Cause Must be Covered if Covered by Policy

In Sebo v. American Home Assurance Co., Case No. SC140897 (Fla. Dec. 1, 2016), the Florida Supreme Court ruled that insurance companies should not deny coverage for property damage just because it had more than one concurrent cause, as long as the policy covers one of the causes.
The opinion reverses a Second District Court of Appeal decision that instructed courts to determine the primary cause of damage and rule that an insurance claim could be denied if that primary cause was not covered by the policy. The Second DCA decision conflicted with a Miami appellate court ruling that had been the law since 1988. The 1988 decision in Wallach v. Rosenberg issued by the Third District Court of Appeal relies on the competing "concurrent cause" doctrine, which says coverage may exist if an insured risk is one of the causes of the damage, even if it is not the primary cause. The Florida Supreme Court opinion affirmed the Third DCA's logic.

Sebo's homeowners insurance company, …