(CN) – A business owner can’t collect insurance money on hurricane-related flood damage by claiming the damage was driven by wind, the 5th Circuit ruled.
Arctic Slope Regional Corp. admitted that Hurricane Rita’s storm surge flooded Omega Natchiq’s office and construction yard in Iberia Parish, La. Although flood damage was excluded from Arctic Slope’s “all risks” policy, the company claimed it fell under the policy’s coverage for wind or hail damage. Arctic Slope argued that the flooding had been driven by wind.
The New Orleans-based federal appeals court upheld a ruling for Affiliated FM Insurance. When wind and water cause the same damage, the court ruled, that damage is excluded from coverage.
“The storm surge flood occasioned by Hurricane Rita, ‘whether driven by wind or not,’ is not covered by this policy,” Judge Jones concluded.