Delay In Renewing Policy Until Hurricane Was Bearing Down Leads To Lack Of Coverage

How many times have you seen cases where the insured allowed a policy to elapse and tried to reinstate it, only to have an event occur in the meantime that otherwise would have been covered? If it can be said there is a "classic," timeless, recurrent theme in insurance coverage over the decades, this may be it, along with cases where people lied to get life insurance, of course.  As coverage wings its way through the ages, many of the passengers leave and new ones board, but these two never get off the plane. 

In Re Appeal of HPB Enterprises, 633 S.E.2d 130 (N.C.App. August 15, 2006 ) is one of these lapsed policy cases with a timely twist for the Age of Katrina: hurricane damage.   Here’s a link.  The insured, which appears to be been the owner of a luxury, "golf community" in North Carolina, failed to heed a renewal notice and its wind insurance policy expired August 1, 2003, right in the middle of hurricane season. 

Then, a month later, Hurricane Isabel began moving in on the North Carolina coast, and the golf community tried to get the policy reinstated, mailing a new application along with the premium.  These were mailed the day before the hurricane hit, but did not arrive at the insurer’s office until two days later, after the hurricane left.  To top it off, the underwriting of wind insurance was subject to Insurance Department restrictions that barred new coverage when a hurricane was in certain proximity to the coast.  You can see from this description how it turns out, can’t you?  I’ll spare you the details, except to note that the court said the insured wasn’t actually an insured.

For you early birds, you know that again today I was delayed in posting.   Pressing tasks intervened.  As the saying goes, work is the curse of the blogging class. 

UPDATE:  I was in such a hurry this morning I messed up the headline.  It’s now been corrected.

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