A Motion for Motion for Summary Judgment1 caught my attention because the argument is that wind-driven rain and water damage that has occurred over many years is covered by a condominium’s insurance. The case is pending in Washington federal court and applies Washington state insurance law.
In the introduction to the motion, the following was stated:
This lawsuit arises out of an insurance claim for hidden damage to exterior cladding and framing from wind-driven rain. Country Casualty Insurance Company and Country Mutual Insurance Company (collectively “Country”) insured the Westboro Condominium Association’s (“Association”😉 buildings from August 19, 2018 to August 19, 2019. In December 2019, after discovering hidden water damage in the exterior walls of the Westboro- the buildings left the association a claim on Country.
Land has issued an all risk property policy that covers all damages except what is excluded. The policy excludes weather conditions but only under conditions not found here, such as when the weather causes mudslides or mudflows… The policy also has an “indoor rain” exclusion, as the court ruled in Greenlake apartment. Ass’n v. Allstate Ins. Co….(WD Wash. Dec. 23, 2015) does not rule out wind-driven rain damage to exterior siding and framing at issue here. The fact that Country’s all risk policy excludes rain and weather but only in certain inapplicable circumstances demonstrates Country’s intention to cover wind driven rain damage to exterior wall cladding and framing.
The conclusion of the motion read:
As shown above, wind driven rain and weather conditions are covered causes under the country’s all risk policy. Pursuant to Vision One, Greenlake, and Sunwood, coverage for loss or damage caused by a combination of wind-driven rain and inadequate construction is mandated under the doctrine of concurrent causes because the country’s policy does not exclude such damage. Additionally, because Country’s inadequate construction exclusion contains no reverse EPC provision and otherwise contains a resulting loss clause, Country cannot assert that coverage is excluded if inadequate construction is EPC in a loss that otherwise involves covered wind-driven rain. Alternatively, given that Country concedes that inadequate construction did not initiate a sequence of events that led to water damage in Westboro or caused wind-driven rain events that caused damage, Country cannot establish that inadequate construction is EPC. Therefore, there is statutory coverage for the wind-driven rain damage in question.
(EPC means Effective proximate cause)
This is an argument for coverage. it is based on Washington’s somewhat unique property insurance precedent. The entire motion is worth reading for those studying wind-driven rain coverage issues.
I will follow up on this matter when the insurance company submits its response.
The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain.
– Dolly Parton
1 Westboro Condominium Ass’n v. Country Cas. ins. Co.No. 2:21-cv-00685 [Motion for Partial Summary Judgment] (WD Wash. Aug. 8, 2022).