The court found that the policy's anti-sequential clause barred coverage for damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Estate of Doerfler v. Fed. Ins. Co., 2020 N.J. Sup. Unpub. LEXIS 920 (May 14, 2020).
The insureds held identical homeowners policies from Chubb and Federal Insurance Company. Damage resulting from flood was not covered. The policies' "surface water exclusion" stated,
[W]e do not cover any loss caused by: flood, surface water, waves, tidal water, overflow of water from a body of water . . . or spray from any of these even if driven by wind.
The insureds also had separate flood insurance policies, insuring the structure of each home for $250,000.
Superstorm Sandy created wind gusts as high as eighty miles per hour. A severe storm surge caused tides to rise between nine and eleven feet. The storm surge caused surface water to flood onto plaintiffs' properties and their homes ultimately collapsed.