Olympia, Wash. — In response to concerns raised by some insurance brokers, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is telling insurers not to use a common policy exclusion for “governmental actions” to deny claims if water releases from the Howard Hanson Dam flood parts of the Green River Valley.
“I strongly urge all companies to refrain from taking such a position,” Kreidler said in a letter
sent to about 200 commercial insurers.
In this case, he said, such language doesn’t apply.
Many insurers use standardized policy language from the Insurance Service Organization. Such policies typically exclude “seizure or destruction of property by order of governmental authority.”
In the Green River Valley situation, the Army Corps of Engineers has said that it may have to release more water than usual from the Howard Hanson Dam, due to structural weaknesses discovered in the earthen dam. After heavy rains, the water released from the dam could cause flooding in the valley below the dam.