Houston, TX asked in Insurance Bad Faith for Texas

Q: Is a "pollution exclusion" clause on an insurance policy an all encompassing clause with no exceptions?

Was wondering if this is an all encompassing clause? My house became contaminated by some sort of fumes related to criminal activity as some squatters/drug dealers moved into a nearby abandoned house and cooked up something that got into my vents and the whole house. I've dealt with the police and various agencies yet none were able/willing to do anything. Strange.

The insurance company is denying the claim claiming that it's pollution related. I've read the policy clauses and their exclusion basically boils down to any contamination related to the air being polluted--as in chemical spills, fires, etc. The question is since this has its origin in criminal activity, is there a way this could actually be covered?

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2 Lawyer Answers
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: There are different types of pollution exclusion clauses, and various exceptions depending upon the type of clause in your policy.

One very common exception that may apply is the hostile fire exception. This often applies to smoke or fume damage when the source is an incident away from your premises.

It depends upon the language of the clause and any applicable endorsements.

1 user found this answer helpful

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Insurance Claims Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY

A: It could depend how the policy is written. Insurance policies can differ widely in coverage it comes to "pollution," "contamination," and related risks. In general, they tend to be difficult claims. Good luck

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