No, this blog post is not about swimming pool liability at an apartment complex. It’s about first-party coverage for property damage TO an owned in-ground swimming pool under an HO-4 tenants form.
Here’s the claim scenario…a couple live in an apartment in a commercial building owned by their incorporated business. They insure their personal property on an HO-4. The couple had an in-ground pool installed which was later damaged by a severe storm to the tune of $3,000. The HO-4 adjuster denied the claim, explaining that a renter’s policy only covers damage to movable personal property, not real estate like an in-ground swimming pool. Is the adjuster correct?
You may or may not be aware that I have been a columnist for Insurance Journal magazine for the past two years. My first year’s columns addressed many of the policy interpretation principles explained in my book “When Words Collide: Resolving Insurance Coverage and Claims Disputes.” This year’s column, “Logic & Language and Forms & Facts,” applies those principles to real-life claims I’ve consulted on over the past 30+ years. The answer to the coverage question above is answered in my latest column here:
In next month’s column I examine the same “generalization danger” issue in a commercial lines claim involving a contractor who damages his own work. We know that ISO CGL exclusions j.(5), j.(6), and l. are workmanship exclusions that remove coverage for someone damaging their own work product, right? Well, maybe not. It logically depends on the precise language of the form in question within the context of the specific facts and circumstances of the claim. The claim and resolution will be revealed next month.
On a personal note….my blogging may be sporadic until the fall. I am feverishly (no pun intended) working on a new book about the insurance and risk management implications of the COVID-19 pandemic with the working title of “Pandemics and Insurance: 2020 Vision.” Subscribers to my blog know that I’ve written about 20 articles on a number of the insurance issues surrounding the current pandemic. I’m in the process of greatly expanding this work into a book I hope to publish by the first week in October when I’m presenting on it at the CPCU Society’s annual In2Risk conference on October 8.
Photo by wyldwest