Sharon Angelino, a partner in the Goldberg Segalla LLP Global Insurance Services Practice Group, was interviewed by Law360 on legislation recently proposed in New York that would prevent insurers from using anti-concurrent clauses, which eliminate coverage when a loss has multiple causes and one of those causes is excluded under a policy. The legislation was inspired by Superstorm Sandy.
Sharon noted that although such policy language has caused confusion and has led to mixed results in courts, New York has regularly enforced it. “New York and New Jersey have a particularly favorable body of case law, and courts have been enforcing those provisions,” she told Law360. “In other states, not insignificantly, some of the states more commonly affected by catastrophes, those clauses don’t have the same teeth for an insurer that they do in New York and New Jersey.”
She also noted that while the law would prevent confusion and give greater protection to policyholders, those benefits will likely come at a price: “If something like this happens where anti-concurrent clauses are prohibited, the market will react. … The market is not going to bear the cost of that itself. It’s going to find a way to pass the cost on to the customer.”