What Is Concurrent Causation?
Not all property damage results from just one cause. In many cases, multiple causes occur at once to contribute to damages incurred. This is referred to as concurrent causation in the insurance world. An example is storm damage from both wind and flooding. In this case, the client would technically have two different types of insurance claims. Insurance companies treat these cases according to the type of policy in effect and the specific situation.
Making a Concurrent Causation Argument
The concurrent causation argument states that a loss is the result of multiple causes. Property damage, for example, may have come from flooding as well as mold. If you argue concurrent causation during your insurance claim, you are attempting to recover benefits through two different types of insurance policies or coverage categories. You may try to seek benefits from both your homeowners insurance policy as well as your flood insurance policy, for instance. A successful concurrent causation argument could result in better coverage for your property losses.
It is important to read the language of your insurance policy carefully if you wish to make a concurrent causation argument. Many insurance companies have rules in place preventing double payout for the same loss from two different types of claims. These provisions can be detrimental for a claimant with losses associated with concurrent causation. Luckily, you have rights under state law. Under Arizona’s doctrine of concurrent causation, you are entitled to recover for all damages associated with the covered peril(s). You can only recover what is covered under your insurance policy, however.
You may have to navigate an anti-concurrent causation provision in your insurance policy, if there is one. Bring your policy to an insurance lawyer for an in-depth review of its terms and limits. A lawyer can break down your policy’s exact provisions, as well as inform you of related laws in Arizona. In general, the Arizona courts hold that if a covered peril exacerbated your losses from an excluded peril, the entire claim is valid. Even if one of the causes of your losses is not covered by your policy, you will most likely be eligible for benefits through a concurrent causation argument.
Why Might Concurrent Causation Be Denied?
It can be challenging to get an insurance company to pay a full and reasonable amount for your losses involving concurrent causation. Your insurance company could deny coverage based on a variety of reasons. First, it may cite an anti-concurrent causation provision directly in your policy. Second, it could argue that one of the causes you are claiming is not a covered peril on your policy. Third, it may deny your claim for no reason at all in an attempt to save the insurance company money on a payout.
The most common reason for denial is the argument that one of the causes of your property damage is not covered. If a fire in your home led to flooding from an automatic sprinkler system, for example, your homeowners insurance company may argue that while the fire damage is covered under your policy, flood damage is not. For the most part, this will not be a valid reason for a concurrent causation claim denial. Whether the claim gets accepted or denied, however, will depend on the company and the circumstances.
Getting Help From an Insurance Denial Attorney
An insurance claim denial is a common issue claimants have to deal with during claims in Arizona. Some denials are valid, while others are given in bad faith. Bad faith means the insurance company intentionally or negligently mishandled your claim. If you are the victim of wrongful claim denial in Arizona, you have the right to bring a bad faith claim against the insurance company in addition to your original insurance claim. Speak to an insurance denial attorney right away if your claim gets denied based on a concurrent causation argument. A lawyer can help you protect your rights.