Years Later, Hurricane Sandy Claims Still Present Unique Coverage Questions

The Second Circuit’s recent reversal of summary judgment involving a coverage dispute over a $50M Hurricane Sandy storm surge claim is an important reminder to always closely read the policy. At first blush, the policy in question was a seemingly standard all-risk commercial property policy that featured a flood exclusion and a separate windstorm or hail deductible endorsement. The coverage analysis in this case should have been straightforward – storm surge falls within the scope of the flood exclusion vitiating coverage – which is exactly …

Continue Reading

Earth, Wind, and Water: New York Court Enforces Anti-Concurrency Clause In Superstorm Sandy Case

In Clarke v. Travco Insurance Company, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104267 (SDNY, August 7, 2015), a federal judge sitting for the United States District Court, Southern District of New York granted a homeowners insurer summary judgment in a dispute with its policyholder regarding coverage for a Superstorm Sandy claim.

The homeowner was insured for first-party property damage to his home pursuant to a standard homeowners policy. His home, located near the Hudson River, sustained damage as a result of flood water during the storm. …

Continue Reading

No Business Loss Coverage for Sandy Flooding

A Southern District Court judge ruled that an insurer was not required to pay lost business coverage after Superstorm Sandy due to a flood provision contained in the policy. In this case, a law firm sought coverage from its insurer when its lower Manhattan office was evacuated due to flooding from the Sandy Storm.

The insured law firm sought coverage under the policy’s civil authority provision and moved for summary judgment while the insurer cross moved for summary judgment because flood was not a covered …

Continue Reading

Preemptive Power Shutdown From Hurricane Sandy Was Not A Covered Business Interruption Claim

This coverage action arises from the widespread power outages that occurred in and around New York City during and after Hurricane Sandy. On October 29, 2012, in anticipation of storm-related flooding, utility provider Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc.  preemptively shut off power to certain of its service networks to preserve the integrity of the utility system.  As a result, the plaintiff, a law firm, was without power at its lower Manhattan office for several days. The firm filed a claim under its property …

Continue Reading

NYDFS Announces New Extension to Sandy Mediation Program

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has extended the emergency regulation (15th Amendment to Regulation 64, 11 NYCRR 216) surrounding mediations relating to Hurricane Sandy.  The current version was filed with the Secretary of State on February 14,2014 and will expire on or about May 15, 2014 under the 90 day rule.

Originally promulgated in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the amendment applies to any claim for loss or damage, other than claims made under flood policies issued under the national flood …

Continue Reading