Does water from a water main break fall into the exclusion for water under the surface?
January 30, 2023 at 06:07 AM
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The insured commercial property had a water main break beneath the slab. The carrier is excluding the damage citing the language in the CP 10 32 08 08 water exclusion form. Specifically, they are relying on the language that excludes “water under the ground surface . . .” that flows through the floors etc. FC&S has addressed this issue several times over the years and has always taken the position, in the absence of other policy language, that water below the ground is meant to exclude subterranean water, not water from a broken pipe. And certainly not in a situation where, as with this policy, the pipe is specifically included as covered property. I have seen water from a pipe properly excluded when the language in the policy specifically said something like “regardless of the source of the water” which made the intent clear that they wanted to exclude both water from underground pipes as well as subterranean water.
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Christine G. Barlow, CPCU
Christine G. Barlow, CPCU, is Executive Editor of FC&S Expert Coverage Interpretation, a division of National Underwriter Company and ALM. Christine has over thirty years’ experience in the insurance industry, beginning as a claims adjuster then working as an underwriter and underwriting supervisor handling personal lines.
Christine regularly presents and moderates webinars on a variety of topics and is an experienced presenter.