Talk about having doubt about the meaning, what do you make of this?
I was looking through my Bloglines feedreader last night under my folder labeled “anti-concurrent cause,” and saw this really good post from the Slabbed blog. This is a fascinating discussion not only of Katrina damage, but of the theory of illusory insurance coverage. It’s old, now, the post, from the nostalgia file, but it is still worth talking about.
I thought Sop was “illusionating” when he told me about the reference; but, the compliment is real and so is later disclaimer:
So I can’t agree with the premise presented, both by the author, nowdoucit, and quoted material from policyholder lawyer Chip Merlin, that anti-concurrent cause language is in any way ambiguous or illusory.
My first response, however, is neither ambiguous nor illusory. It’s simply a thank you to David Rossmiller for opening a timely discussion on anti-concurrent causation and another thank you to Chip Merlin for holding up his end of the conversation and our shared position.
Disagreeing with the premise, however, is contrary to fact established in Dickinson v Nationwide.
Nationwide contends that the ACC provision precludes recovery for wind damage to any item of insured property that was later damaged by storm surge flooding. Nationwide contends that because wind damage preceded the damage from storm surge flooding, and therefore occurred in a sequence of events, the “in any sequence” language in the ACC invalidates the plaintiffs’ claim for wind damage. In other words, Nationwide takes the position that the ACC policy provision applies to exclude coverage for any wind damage that preceded damage from the excluded peril of flooding…
The ACC clause operates to preserve the listed exclusions in the event some other factor operates with the excluded peril to cause a loss. The ACC is not operative and has no application to damage that is in no way caused (directly or indirectly) by an excluded peril.
Since no one knows that better than David Rossmiller and I’ve never suggested “illusory coverage” would or could be “found in anti-concurrent cause language of a policy”, I, too, think it’s time to explore what can’t be seen in the shadows of Plato’s Cave.
…the ordinary objects we see around us…in the visible realm it give birth to light and its sovereign; in the intelligible realm, itself sovereign, it provided truth and intelligence…the man who is going to act prudently in private or in public must see it”
It’s easy to get lost in Plato’s Cave without a flashlight. Fortunately, I keep this one handy. Many centuries after Plate wrote the allegory, Montessori, Piaget, Vygotsky and others began to theorize how intelligence develops and expressed similar thought. The “visible realm” – what we can see, smell, taste and touch – is the truth that shapes our intelligence. Higher levels of intelligence develop, in turn, with exposure to increasingly challenging experiences.
If Katrina was in your visible realm, you saw the light and found the truth of hurricane damage. In fact, I contend that Sop, who roof surfed his family to safety in Katrina’s surge, reached genius level in hurricane intelligence. The windstorm of a hurricane is not a shadow on the wall of Plato’s cave – although one young Katrina survivor did describe the windstorm as the bitch that took Barbie.
Instead, IMO, it was the language of anti-concurrent causation theory that was developed in a cave; and the language that makes it a shadow – a walking shadow:
…a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.
David Rossmiller sees the language of anti-concurrent causation outside the cave and his definition is what Plato called a form.
A Form is an objective “blueprint” of perfection. The Forms are perfect themselves because they are unchanging. For example, say we have a triangle drawn on a blackboard. A triangle is a polygon with 3 sides. The triangle as it is on the blackboard is far from perfect. However, it is only the intelligibility of the Form “triangle” that allows us to know the drawing on the chalkboard is a triangle, and the Form “triangle” is perfect and unchanging. It is exactly the same whenever anyone chooses to consider it; however, the time is that of the observer and not of the triangle.
The reality of a triangle is a shape with three sides; just as the reality of the windstorm of a hurricane includes two independent, separately occurring events – first, the wind and, then, the water that can lead to flooding.
However, those who looked at the windstorm of a hurricane from Plato’s cave saw illusions of exclusions – shadows that when examined outside the cave could not be proven to be reality; leading, in turn, to illusions of coverage.
Thus, the message I took from Plato’s allegory:
- David Rossmiller is a bright light who sees beyond the shadow cast by the dim bulb that constructed the language of anti-concurrent causation.
However, a bright light provides a different view from that of a dim bulb; and, something that can be seen in more than one way is ambiguous.