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Deepwater Horizon: What Coverage is Available for What Claims and When?

By June 7, 2010

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The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents has issued a press release on its website calling on the insurance industry to be prepared to address questions from consumers and insureds affected by the Deepwater Horizon disaster "about what's covered and what's not."

What I find interesting is the list of potential claims some of which I had simply not thought of, but certainly are plausible claims. For example:

  • Wind driven oil affecting homes, vehicles and other property.
  • Health effects on those working in the recovery efforts.
  • Private vessels operating in the recovery effort being coated with layers of oil.
  • Fish deemed not fit for human consumption due to oil, and the resulting losses to individual fishermen.
  • Businesses that may be forced to shut down, or may have major declines in revenues due to canceled events or vacations.
  • Independent BP franchise owners who suffer economic losses from consumer boycotts.

It will be not only an oily dangerous mess but a legal mess as well.

"Many of the specific questions that individual business owners need to understand as to what is covered and what is not cannot be definitively answered, because this event is unprecedented in many respects. In addition, limitations and exclusions contained in individual insurance policies will affect coverage and judgments regarding individual claims will be made by each carrier."

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