Case Law Wednesdays – Marring: What Does it Mean?

Most insurance policies cover losses on an all risk basis if a claim is the result of a direct physical loss. However, insurance policies typically contain a section describing what an insurance policy expressly excludes from coverage. In most common policy forms, there is a section similar to the section below:

In Gamero v. Foremost Insurance Company [1], the insured sued his insurance company after a vase fell and cracked two floor tiles in the living room. The insurance company offered payment of almost $4,000, however the insured asserted that he had to replace the tile in the rest of the house, which would amount to over $10,000. The appellate court held that the damage to the floor tiles was a loss that constituted marring, which was excluded from the coverage under the terms of the insurance policy.

Marring is not defined in insurance policies. However, Courts have interpreted the exclusion to encompass a loss that has occurred due a fallen item causing damage to flooring. The Third Court of Appeals of Florida in Gamero applied marring to the situation where a homeowner caused damage to its flooring from a dropped vase. Although Courts have concluded that the marring exclusion applies when an insured drops an object that cracks or dents a tile, it is still possible for an insurance company to provide coverage due to the fact that marring is such an ambiguous term.

As we always caution, insurance coverage and exclusions should be reviewed every year to ensure that coverage is appropriate for the circumstances. Simple words contained in a policy may result in a lack of coverage.

If you have sustained a loss at your property, schedule a consultation with the experienced attorneys at Alvarez Law Group today. Call us at (786) 620-2820 or email to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. *

[1] Gamero v. Foremost Ins. Co., 42 Fla. L. Weekly D158b (Fla. 3d DCA 2017)

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