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Survey of State Law Regarding Enforceability of Anti-Concurrent Causation Clauses

(Updated October 11, 2017In recent years, usually following catastrophes, policyholders challenge the validity of “anti-concurrent causation” clauses that preclude coverage where losses result from a combination of covered and excluded causes.  Numerous courts throughout the United States have examined the enforceability of such clauses and reached a variety of conclusions.  This article provides a survey of state case law examining whether these clauses are valid and enforceable.

State ACC Clauses Enforced? Authority
AL Yes State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Slade, 747 So.2d 293 (Ala. 1999)
AK Yes State Farm Fire and Cas. Co. v. Bongen, 925 P.2d 1042 (Alaska 1996)
AZ Yes (except for fire policies) Millar v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 804 P.2d 822 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1990); but see Stankova v. Metro. Prop. and Cas. Ins. Co., 788 F.3d 1012 (9th Cir. 2015) (anti-concurrent causation clause in fire insurance policies invalid as inconsistent with standard fire insurance policy language mandated by statute).
CA No Cal. Ins. Code §§ 530, 532; Garvey v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 770 P.2d 704 (Cal. 1989) (pursuant to California Insurance Code, “efficient proximate cause” doctrine applies to first-party claims).
CO Yes Kane v. Royal Ins. Co. of America, 768 P.2d 678 (Colo. 1989)
CT Yes Lombardi v. Universal N. Am. Ins. Co., No. NNHCV136036542S, 2015 Conn. Super. LEXIS 138 (Conn. Super. Ct. Jan. 21, 2015)
DC Yes Chase v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 780 A.2d 1123 (D.C. 2001)
HI Yes (except when in conflict with other policy provisions) Assoc. of Apartment Owners of Imperial Plaza v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co., 939 F.Supp.2d 1059 (D.Haw. 2013)
IN Yes Ramirez v. Amer. Family Mut. Ins. Co., 652 N.E.2d 511 (Ind. Ct. App. 1995)
IA Yes Salem United Methodist Church of Cedar Rapids v. Church Mut. Ins. Co., 2015 Iowa App. LEXIS 308 (Iowa Ct. App. April 8, 2015)
LA Yes Arctic Slope Reg. Corp. v. Affiliated FM Ins. Co., 564 F.3d 707 (5th Cir. 2009)
MD Yes Bao v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 535 F.Supp.2d 532 (D.Md. 2008)
MA Yes Audubon Hill v. Comm. Ass’n Underwriters, 975 N.E.2d 458 (Mass. App. Ct. 2012)
MI Yes Dahlke v. Home Owners Ins. Co., 2003 Mich. App. LEXIS 3424 (Mich. Ct. App. Dec. 23, 2003)
MN Yes Ken Johnson Props., LLC v. Harleysville Worcester Summary Ins. Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140530 (D.Minn. Sept. 30, 2013)
MS Yes, but limited Corban v. United Servs. Auto. Ass’n, 20 So.3d 601 (Miss. 2009) (anti-concurrent causation clause applies only when two or more causes occur simultaneously to cause loss)
MO Yes Maxus Realty Tr., Inc. v. RSUI Indemn. Co., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39919 (W.D.Mo. May 16, 2008)
NV Yes Schroeder v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 770 F. Supp. 558 (D. Nev. 1991)
NH Yes Amherst Cy. Club v. Harleysville Worcester Ins., 561 F.Supp.2d 138 (D. N.H. 2008)
NJ Yes Ashrit Realty, LLC v. Tower Nat’l Ins. Co., Docket No. A-1647-13T4, 2015 N.J. Unpub. LEXIS 107 (N.J. Sup. Ct. App. Div. Jan. 20, 2015)
NY Yes Kula v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 628 N.Y.S.2d 988 (4th Dep’t 1995); Clarke v. Travco Ins. Co., No. 13-cv-5140 (NCR), 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104267 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 7, 2015)
NC Yes Builders Mut. Ins. Co. v. Glascarr Props., 688 S.E.2d 508 (N.C.App. 2010)
ND Yes N.D. Cent. Code § 26.1-32-03. But see W. Nat’l Mut. Ins. Co. v. Univ. of N.D., 643 N.W.2d 4 (N.D. 2002)(refusing to enforce anti-concurrent causation language prior to statutory amendment expressly permitting parties to contract out of the efficient proximate cause doctrine)
OH Yes Hartman v. Erie Ins. Co., 2017-Ohio-668 (Ohio Ct. App. 2017)
OK Yes Duensing v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 131 P.3d 127 (Okla.Civ.App. 2006)
PA Yes T.H.E. Ins. Co. v. Ch. Boyer Children’s Trust, 455 F.Supp.2d 284 (M.D. Pa. 2006)
SC Yes South Carolina Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. Durham, 671 S.E.2d 610 (S.C. 2009)
SD Yes Swenson v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 891 F.Supp.2d 1101 (D. S.D. 2012)
TN Yes Hardy and Kelly LLC v. QBE Ins. Corp., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68256 (M.D. Tenn. May 16, 2012)
TX Yes JAW The Pointe LLC v. Lexington Ins. Co., 460 S.W.3d 597 (Tex. 2015)
UT Yes Alf v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 850 P.2d 1272 (Utah 1993)
WA No Safeco Ins. Co. v. Hirschmann, 773 P.2d 413 (Wash. 1989)
WV No Murray v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 509 S.E.2d 1 (W. Va. 1998)
WI Yes Atl. Mut. Ins. Cos. V. Lotz, 384 F.Supp.2d 1292 (E.D.Wis. 2005)

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