Marring Exclusion in Homeowner’s Property Insurance Policies

The marring exclusion in a homeowners property insurance policy strikes again.   The marring exclusion?!? Homeowner’s property insurance policies oftentimes contain an exclusion for damage or loss caused by “wear and tear, marring, deterioration….” As it pertains to the exclusionary word “marring,” this has been found to apply when a homeowner drops an item and causes damage to its flooring (e.g., floor tiles). Because it is almost impossible to match the flooring (so that only the damaged section can be replaced) the homeowner wants the entire flooring replaced. Nonetheless, courts have held that this loss–a fallen item causing damage to flooring–is excluded under the policy per the “marring” exclusion.

Similarly, in a recent example, a vase fell and cracked two floor tiles. The homeowner wanted all of the tiling replaced and filed an insurance coverage lawsuit when the insurer refused to pay the replacement cost for the flooring. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the insurer based on the marring exclusion and this was affirmed by the appellate court: “We affirm the trial court’s orders, and hold that the damage to the floor tiles was a loss that constituted “marring,” which was expressly excluded from coverage under the terms of the insurance policy.” Gamero v. Foremost Ins. Co., 42 Fla. L. Weekly D158b (Fla. 3d DCA 2017).

Please contact David Adelstein at dadelstein@gmail.com or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.

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