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Mould damage from burst pipe not caused ‘solely’ by mould (US)

A burst boiler pipe at a hotel resulted in mould damage to the property.  An exclusion stated “damage caused solely by mould is not covered under this policy”.

The court found that the language “caused solely by” indicates a distinction between mould as a loss and mould as a cause of the loss.  The triggering event of the mould as a loss (the burst boiler pipe) was covered under the policy.  Therefore, mould resulting from the boiler pipe burst was covered under the policy.  Another exclusion for damage “caused by or resulting from mould” also did not exclude damage caused by mould which resulted from the boiler pipe burst.

Because the onus is on the insurer for exclusions, careful wording is required and words like “solely” will limit the exclusion.

CRU Shreveport LLC v United National Insurance Co Case No. 5:20-cv-00151 in the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana


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