April 1, 2014. A recent decision by the Iowa Court of Appeals, which can be found here, addressed the meaning of the term “rain” as that term is used in an insurance policy. In the case, Amish Connection, Inc. v. State Farm, the plaintiff sustained property damage at its place of business when a drain pipe connected to its building’s roof drain system burst during a rainstorm. The roof drain system was designed to collect water on the roof and transport it through interior drain pipes and down to the storm sewer.

State Farm denied Amish Connection’s claim for insurance proceeds, claiming the loss was not covered because the policy did not insure against losses “caused by rain.” Amish Connection subsequently filed suit. While the term “rain” was not defined in the insurance policy, the trial court equated “rain” with “rainwater” and found the damages were not covered under the insurance policy.

The Court of Appeals disagreed, reasoning that a person standing in Amish Connection’s business, and underneath the burst pipe, would not conclude that he or she was standing in the rain. Thus, while the damages might have resulted from “rainwater,” they did not result from “rain.” According to the Court of Appeals, the terms rain and rainwater encompass two different points in time; as water is falling, it is considered “rain” but after it was fallen and become collected it is considered “rainwater.” Since the Court of Appeals was obligated to construe any ambiguities in the insured’s favor, it reversed the trial court’s decision and found the loss was not “caused by rain” under the insurance policy.

For more information regarding litigation or "rain" under an insurance policy, contact the Goosmann Law Firm at info@goosmannlaw.com or call 712-226-4000.

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