Oregon Ruling Expands Homeowners Coverage

March 7, 2000

A recent decision from the Oregon Supreme Court expands coverage for most Oregon homeowners policies to include pollution liability exposure.

A recent decision from the Oregon Supreme Court expands coverage for most Oregon homeowners policies to include pollution liability exposure.

The original decision in November 1999, in the case of Fleming v. USAA, ruled that a policyholder whose tenants were running an illegal methamphetamine lab on his property could collect for damages under the landlord’s homeowners policy. Damages to the property included smoke damage from the lab – “pollution” losses.

On March 4, the Oregon Supreme Court rejected challenges from the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) and the Oregon Department of Insurance. The court held that the statute applies to all policies that include fire coverage, including multi-peril policies.

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