Anti-Concurrent Causation

Anti-Concurrent Causation. Yes, the term actually means something, even though it looks and sounds like something from the mind of Dr. Seuss or from out of Alice in Wonderland. Anti-Concurrent Causation is a policy provision that bolsters certain exclusions.

Damage to homes, related structures, businesses, etc.; often involve causes of loss that are traditionally covered by insurance policies, such as fire, wind, hail, freezing, falling objects, lightning and others. On the opposite end, there are causes that, traditionally, are not covered, such as flood, earthquake, nuclear activity, and military actions.

Things are clear cut when a single cause creates a loss .But a situation becomes complicated when more than one cause contributes to a loss at, essentially, the same time (concurrent). Consider the following situations:

Scenario A – A factory that is heavily damaged by a windstorm. This is clearly a covered situation.

Scenario B – A factory that is heavily damaged by flooding. This is clearly a non-covered situation.

Scenario C – A factory that is heavily damaged by flooding, but the floodwaters driven onto the premises by a windstorm. Now the situation becomes uncertain. Storms are covered, flooding isn’t and both circumstances created the loss.

It is the uncertainty created by both an excluded and a covered source of loss creating damage that is addressed by anti-concurrent causation wording. When a policy includes such language, such losses are still excluded. Such language is subject to frequent dispute under lawsuits, especially since such situations are often severe and catastrophic. Often courts and state laws have the final say on how given losses are handled. This creates another instance where you may need the help of an insurance professional to have clearer understanding of your coverage.

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