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Home / Insurance / Broken Pipe Under Polar Vortex: Don't Let Your Policy's "Freeze Exclusion" Let You Be Detected For Arctic Cold Loss. Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog

Broken Pipe Under Polar Vortex: Don't Let Your Policy's "Freeze Exclusion" Let You Be Detected For Arctic Cold Loss. Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog



Most property insurance excludes coverage for damages caused by the freezing of household appliances or appliances unless the insured used reasonable caution to maintain heat in the building or shut down the water supply and drained all systems and appliances in water. Courts interpreting the "freeze ruling" have generally found that the language within the policy is clear and enforceable.

At least one federal court, 1 has admitted, however, that in the case of insurance protection measures, which must be done on a case-by-case basis, it is impossible to define what constitutes "reasonable care" to "maintain heat "in any situation. The court that interpreted the New Jersey law ultimately interpreted the terms of the policy's freezing exclusion under their ordinary terms as follows: An insured person would not be excluded from coverage for losses caused by freezing if they made objectively reasonable steps a step that An ordinary person in his position would have taken to ensure that the temperature of their home remained above freezing.

In a later case even interpretation of the New Jersey law, a court refused to reject an insured's breach of contract complaint after a resignation decision had been filed by the insurance company and claimed that it was premature before any fact or expert discovery had taken place room to solve the actual issue of insured had enough heat at the property. 2 ] This case is remarkable because the court refused to consider the insurance certificate from the insurance company 's oath investigation ("EUO") in support of the insurance company' s movement in the first stage of the trials and thereby giving policyholders an opportunity during the subsequent litigation for to prove that they had taken reasonable steps to maintain the warmth of the property.

Finally, try to keep yourself warm during these dangerously cold temperatures!

1 Dooley v Scottsdale Ins. Co. No. 12-1838, 2015 WL 685811 (D.N., Feb. 18, 2015).
2 Petcove vs. Pub. Serv. El. & Gas No. 18-9709, 2019 WL 137652 (D.N.J. January 8, 2019).


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