NJ Courts Brace for Surge of Sandy Insurance Coverage Suits

Hurricane Sandy left a wake of destruction with uprooted homes and disrupted businesses.  As home and business owners attempt to rebuild, many are learning that their insurance may not cover their losses.  In turn, they are looking to lawyers to sort out their claims and potential suits for coverage against their insurers or malpractice against their insurance brokers.

The Newark Star Ledger reported that these claims may hit the courts in waves with the first arriving three to six months post storm, or about now.  Additional claims are expected as statutes of limitations run.

Coverage litigation will parse out damages based upon exclusions in policies, e.g. claims for wind are  often covered versus tidal surge damages which generally are not.  Complicating matters, anti-concurrent clauses exclude coverage for damages caused by a combination of factors, some of which are excluded.

Where insurance coverage does not exist, brokers will be the target.  At issue will be whether they properly advised their clients regarding available insurance and whether they obtained the insurance requested.

In either event, courts will be busy as the storm continues.

For more information, contact Denise Fontana Ricci at dricci@wcmlaw.com.