Corban v. USAA, a unanimous opinion by the Mississippi Supreme Court, clears up a question of tremendous importance to homeowners across the country.
The Corban case has been watched by courts and legal scholars throughout the nation. The Mississippi Supreme Court rejected the Fifth Circuit “Erie guesses” of the Tuepker and Leonard opinions regarding the Anti-Concurrent Cause (ACC) clause. The ACC clause does not relieve an insurance company of its obligation to establish causation if it seeks to exclude coverage for part of the loss caused by water.
The opinion says homeowners “all risk” policies mean exactly what policyholders across the Gulf Coast, as well as legal scholars across the country, have said from day one: (1) Concurrent means concurrent, i.e. at the same time, and (2) In “all risk” policies like those sold today, it is the insurance company's burden to prove what part of the loss was caused by an excluded peril (water in the case of a hurricane). The Corban opinion is of tremendous importance to victims of future disasters both in Mississippi and throughout the nation.
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