|Posted on Tuesday, November 21, 2000 - 10:45 am: |
While working in Delaware in the aftermath of Floyd last year I had an claim that involved a flooded basement. The water seaped into the basement under the foundation wall. This particular basement had no plumbing or drainage system and the policy did not have a sewer and drain b/u endorsement.
The policy holder was understandably upset when I informed him that there was no coverage for his loss. He claimed that the reason the water made it into his basement was because a branch clogged his gutters (eaves trough if you're from Indiana) and cause water to spill out of the gutter and collect against the side of his house where it would not normally collect.
I was sympathetic to his argument, although I didn't think it would fly. I proposed it to the carrier and it was quickly shot down. Their interpretation of ground water was any water that had touched the ground, period. Since the water came off the roof, even if his guttering system had been foiled by a branch, and touched the ground before entering the house, it was considered ground water. The cause of loss was ruled as seapage through or under the foundation wall.
As an aside, the policy holders lawyer tried to argue that since the water "ran" into the basement at such a rate, it was not "seapage" because the volume was too high to have seaped in.
I left Delaware at the end of October and never heard the final outcome of this case, but I'm sure that argument too was dismissed.
|Posted on Tuesday, November 21, 2000 - 5:42 am: |
A martini stirred or a martini shaken is still just that: a martini. The same holds true for surface water, whether channeled or unchanneled.
|Posted on Tuesday, November 21, 2000 - 5:41 am: |
A matini stirred or a martini shaken is still just that: a martini. The same holds true for surface water, whether channeled or unchanneled.
|Steven W. Ebner (Medulus)
|Posted on Tuesday, November 21, 2000 - 1:37 am: |
Kile, Paul, et al,
I agree it is just that simple --- almost. Water that touches the surface of the ground becomes surface water -- except -- if there is another covered cause of loss that allows the surface water to flood a place where it would not have otherwise flooded. An example might help. An insured had a corrugated fiberglass roof over his basement steps at the time Hurricane Floyd struck. The wind blew this corrugated roof off the basement steps, allowing 17 inches of rain to collect in the stairwell and subsequently flood the finished basement. I handled this as a wind driven water claim and the carrier agreed. As this residence was near the top of a hill, the property did not otherwise flood. I believe the same would hold true if a window well cover is blown off prior to the window well flooding. Likewise, I would consider a door blown open by high winds as a wind driven water loss if sufficient water then enters to do damage.
I have also encountered at least one company which interprets water which overflows from a gutter because of the high volume of water as not being groundwater, although it touched the ground prior to damaging the residence. I have more trouble seeing this interpretation, but the carrier always has the right to extend coverage more broadly than the strict interpretation of the policy language (as long as it is applied across the board and not selectively).
|Posted on Sunday, November 19, 2000 - 9:04 pm: |
the lawyer's definitions can be correct taken in context, as a sub-category of surface water. however i think using those definitions to apply to insurance situations involving surface water is taking them out of context. typical attorney trying to stretch a point- why is no one surprised. i'd start by finding out where he got those definitions and attacking both his definitions and his context. might give you some ammuntion if you'd also talk to a hydrologist or hydrological engineer for background info.
|Posted on Sunday, November 19, 2000 - 4:33 pm: |
I found some other definitions.
Water spread over the face of the earth from rain or snow. It went futher to say that once this water hit anything manmade, ditch culvert etc, then it was no longer surface water. It became chaneled or funneled water.
This may not seem important. However, I have run into a lawyer who is making a rather unusual argument. Funneled water or chaneled water is not surface water and thus not excluded.
I would love anyones input.
|Tom Toll (Tom)
|Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2000 - 1:21 pm: |
The accumulation of water on the surface of the ground as a result of runoff from precipitation. Surface water for drinking water supplies are usually classified into rivers, lakes, or reservoir
|Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2000 - 12:56 pm: |
YOU ARE 100% CORRECT UNLESS YOU TAKE IT TO THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT. THERE, JUSTICE DOESN'T SEEM TO MATTER AT THIS POINT AND SURFACE WATER MAY NEED TO BE YELLOW AND STILL WARM WHILE ON THE GROUND. LOL
|Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2000 - 11:34 am: |
Seems pretty simple to me, once the water touches the ground it is surface water.
|Russ Lott (Russ)
|Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2000 - 5:06 am: |
If your principal is a member of the PLRB they have a whole building full of definitions in Chicago.
|Karen Murphy (Murphy)
|Posted on Thursday, November 16, 2000 - 8:49 pm: |
A sudden accumulation of water on or along the ground, caused by rain, burst pipe or dam, tidal surge, or flood.
|Posted on Thursday, November 16, 2000 - 8:22 pm: |
My absolute definition is any water/ice/snow that is on or below the surface of the grade, no matter how it got there. Gutter run off, alleyways, septic runoffs,etc.
|Posted on Thursday, November 16, 2000 - 6:59 pm: |
wanna let us know what prompted this question?
|Posted on Thursday, November 16, 2000 - 2:37 pm: |
You would think that FC&S would have a complete definition. They do not. Any other ideas.
|Posted on Thursday, November 16, 2000 - 2:32 pm: |
Go to the FC&S Bulletins
|Posted on Thursday, November 16, 2000 - 12:46 pm: |
I need everyones help in locating the absolute, correct definition of "SURFACE WATER". If anyone can find a definition please post or E-Mail me at ALJLAW@AOL.COM
I was surprised to find so little information about this topic.