Couple Denied Coverage After Water Heater Leak Under Policy’s Earth Movement Exclusion
Barbara and Charles Hatch had a water heater leak about 4,000 gallons of water flooding their home. Their insurance company, GeoVera Specialty Insurance Co., inspected the claim and issued payment to mitigate the damage. However, after then work had begun the Hatch’s discovered damage to the foundation and structure of the home.
Upon further inspection, GeoVera denied coverage based on the Hatch’s policy that excludes under the earth movement, which caused the foundation and structural damage. The district court ruled the structural damage to the Hatches’ home was excluded as the company claimed and GeoVera was entitled to summary judgment on that portion of the Hatches’ claim. In its decision, the district court explained that, under the policy, any damage caused by the accidental discharge of water from the water heater, including the structural damage to the Hatches’ home, was covered “unless otherwise excluded.”
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