Sub-Limit Restricts Insured's Flood Damage Recovery

Flooded plains

The insured's recovery for flood damage was controlled by the policy's sub-limit.

March 15, 2021
Tred R. Eyerly - Insurance Law Hawaii

The insured's recovery for flood damage was controlled by the policy's sub-limit. David S. Brown Enters. v. Affiliated FM Ins. Co., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 239208 (D. Md. Dec. 18, 2020).

Roughly 6.6 inches of rain fell in Ellicott City, Maryland, causing extensive flooding. During the storm, a water main broke on Main Street, in relatively close proximity to the insured's two properties on Main Street. The foundations of the two properties washed away.

The insured, David S. Brown Enterprises (DSB), had a business owners' policy with Affiliated with covered 204 named locations. The Main Street Properties were not listed, but the policy also provided certain coverage for unnamed locations. The sub-limit applicable to unnamed locations was $1,000,000. The sub-limit for flood, however, was $50,000, annual aggregate "as respects Errors & Omissions, Off-Premises Service Interruption, Unnamed Locations and Supply Chain combined." Affiliated paid $50,000 for the loss based upon the $50,000 Flood annual aggregated Sub-Limit for Unnamed Locations. DSB disagreed that the $50,000 sub-limit applied and filed suit.

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