Concurrent Causation: An Adjuster's Dilemma


In the 1982 case Safeco Insurance Co. v. Guyton 2 the court found an insurer liable for flood damage under an all risks homeowners policy, notwithstanding its flood exclusion.

The court held that flooding which damaged the insured’s property resulted from the failure of a third party to maintain flood-control structures. That was not an excluded peril and the court reasoned that the covered (not excluded) peril took precedence over the excluded peril, and thus awarded coverage.

Similarly, in the 1983 case Premier Insurance Co. v. Welch, 3 a homeowner’s all risks policy was found to cover landslide damage to the insured’s home...

For the most part … property insurers have prevailed in their attempts to enforce ACC exclusions.

… the concept of concurrent causation arose as insurers in the early 20th century combined monoline policies for individual perils (fire, wind, etc.) into multi-peril policies.