Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Glorietta blast: Insurable or not?

There is a brewing controversy over insurance matters with respect to the fatally tragic Gloreitta blast in Makati last year.
Aside from the Ayala-owned properties that were adversely affected by the Glorietta explosion, there were spaces in the buildings that were leased by private third parties, and covered by insurance.
Now, these lessees are trying to claim their respective insurance proceeds as a result of the explosion.
The trouble is that there are two diverse theories that arose, pointing to the probable cause of the explosion.
The official theory of the Philippine National Police is that the explosion was caused by methane gas and probably diesel that was stored in the basement of the Glorietta II building.
This is being disputed by the Ayala property owner which advanced the theory that it was caused by explosives, raising the possibility of a terrorist attack.
Both theories are backed--supposedly--by international experts.
The position of insurance companies is a wait-and-see attitude pending the determinative outcome as to the real cause of the explosion.
So, insurance claims are at a standstill.
If the explosion indeed was casued by some explosive or bomb, and therefore likely a terrorist act, do the insurance policies cover perils arising out of terrorist acts?
Most policies exclude terrorist coverage, unless there is aggravated premium.
If the explosion was not done by an act of terror, is methane gas excluded or included among the covered causes of explosion?
Some fire insurance policies may or may not cover explosion caused by domestic gas like LPG, and sources of illumination.
But what about explosion caused by methane gas?
Aha! Better check the terms of the insurance policy.
The exclusions there are very specific.
So the finding by the Philippine National Police that the explosion was caused by methane gas, may not be helpful to insurance claimants.
Very interesting....

No comments: