In court, plaintiffs' lawyers are likely to claim negligence: Insurance agents and brokers didn't explain what an ACC clause is. According to one estimate at this year's s annual III meeting, less than half of those who buy a home insurance policy actually u nderstand what is included in their coverage. Even the chief executive of The Hartford, Liam McGee, said that agents haven't done a good enough job explaining their products.
Policyholders victimized by ACC and other legal language probably should have shopped around for a policy with fewer restrictive clauses, kept better track of their losses and, if possible, remained in their home with a measuring tape, camera and stopwatch to record what damage occurred at what time by wind and tide.
But all that is water under the floor, so to speak. Now the only answer may be to challenge your insurer in court, using a lawyer and an independent claims adjuster.
Even if the case is lost, it could be won later in another court. Since insurance is state-run, a state court decision may trump a federal one, as it did in Mississippi. The whole issue is now so "bastardized," in the words of Mark Bell in the Connecticut Insurance Law Journal, that lawyers seeking to find precedents will instead find an "untraceable mess."