BASIC, BROAD, AND SPECIAL CAUSES OF LOSS FORMS ANALYSIS

(June 2022)

INTRODUCTION

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) Commercial Property Program Causes of Loss Forms are designed to work with a coverage form. The separate causes of loss forms allow the insured to customize its coverage. After selecting the appropriate coverage, the insured then selects a cause of loss form for each insured property. This provides maximum flexibility in arranging insurance coverage.

The Causes of Loss Forms answer the question, "What must happen for coverage to apply?" The more causes of loss provided, the more expensive the policy. One of the following Causes of Loss forms must be attached to any Commercial Property Coverage form:

  • CP 10 10–Causes of Loss–Basic Form
  • CP 10 20–Causes of Loss–Broad Form
  • CP 10 30–Causes of Loss–Special Form

The form used most often is CP 10 30–Causes of Loss–Special Form. For this reason, this analysis builds on this form. The other two forms are analyzed at the end of this section, with emphasis on how they differ from CP 10 30.

Related Article: ISO Commercial Property Causes of Loss Comparison

Note: This analysis is based on the 09 17 edition of the CP 10 30. Changes from the previous edition are in bold print. The CP 10 20 and CP 10 10 remain 10 12 editions.

CP 10 30–CAUSES OF LOSS–SPECIAL FORM

A. covered causes of loss.

The declarations must list a causes of loss form for each item of covered property. If it is CP 10 30–Causes of Loss–Special Form, coverage applies based on risks of direct physical loss or damage. The coverage this form provides is extremely broad because any physical event that causes loss or damage to covered property is covered unless it is modified elsewhere in this causes of loss form or by endorsement.

B. EXCLUSIONS

CP 10 30 has three categories of exclusions. Each has multiple subparts.

Editorial note: ISO does not give titles to the major categories of exclusions. To assist in the analysis, we have provided a title to help identify the exclusion’s main intent.

1. Broad Exclusions

The causes of loss in this exclusion do not apply to loss or damage caused directly, indirectly, or in any sequence in a chain of events that contribute to the loss. Exceptions to the chain of events condition are stated in the specific exclusion subpart. The lead wording emphasizes that coverage for any event analyzed in these exclusions does not apply even if the event is widespread.

Related Article: Concurrent Causation and Anti-Concurrent Causation Clauses–An Analysis

a. Ordinance or Law

Local governments develop ordinances and laws that relate to construction, remodeling, and repair of buildings. Most are not retroactive. As a result, existing buildings are grandfathered out of the ordinance until they must undergo renovations or repairs. When a substantial loss occurs, and rebuilding, remodeling, or repair is necessary, the grandfathered laws activate and come into play. This exclusion states that the coverage form does not apply to any costs that must be incurred because the laws and ordinances are being enforced or because the named insured is complying with the ordinances of laws.

This exclusion also states that coverage does not apply to the expense to remove undamaged portions of the building or to rebuild them. There is also no coverage for the additional cost to rebuild at a different location because ordinances or laws do not permit the building to be rebuilt at the existing location. Finally, it does not pay remodeling costs needed to bring the building up to current standards.

b. Earth Movement consists of five separate components:

(1) Earthquake includes any sinking, rising, or shifting of the earth directly related to the earthquake. The 10 12 edition adds tremors and aftershocks to this list.

(2) Landslide i ncludes any sinking, rising, or shifting of the earth directly related to the landslide.

(3) Mine Subsidence applies to only man-made mines and applies whether the mine is operating or not. Mine subsidence coverage is an option that may be purchased separately. In some states, mine subsidence coverage is required to be offered in certain counties. If coverage applies to property located in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia, the laws in those states should be reviewed carefully to determine the way to properly handle this exposure.

(4) Sinkhole Collapse is covered, but all other sinking, rising, shifting, eroding, contracting, or expanding of the earth is excluded. Loss or damage caused by or that results from water movement beneath the ground and poor soil conditions is also excluded.

However, if any of the events described in (1)-(4) above cause or result in a fire or explosion, the insurance company pays for the ensuing loss or damage the fire or explosion causes.

(5) Volcanic eruption is not covered unless fire, breakage of building glass, or volcanic action ensues. Volcanic action is considered airborne blasts and shockwaves, dust, ash, and particulate material the volcano emits, as well as lava flow. The cost to remove dust, ash, and particulate matter is excluded unless there is also direct damage to the covered property.

Volcanic eruptions are unpredictable, cause widespread damage, and usually occur over a period of days. An eruption that takes place over a period of 168 consecutive hours is treated as one occurrence. This is very important to an insured that has a substantial deductible for this coverage. Instead of a number of deductibles applying to multiple events, only one deductible applies to each 168-hour period. On the other hand, this also means that only one limit is available for all losses that occur within that same time period .

All aspects of this exclusion apply regardless of whether nature or any other force causes the event.

c. Government Action

Coverage does not apply if the government seizes or destroys property. However, coverage does apply if the action it took was to prevent the spread of fire. This exception applies only if the policy covers the fire that the government is trying to stop.

d. Nuclear Hazard

There is no coverage for loss or damage for anything related to nuclear hazards. Reactions, radiation, and contamination are not covered. However, if a fire ensues, the loss or damage that the fire causes is covered.

Note: CP 10 37–Radioactive Contamination provides either limited or broad coverage for radioactive contamination.

Related Article: ISO Commercial Property Program Available Endorsements and Their Uses

e. Utility Services

Loss or damage due to utility failure that begins away from the described premises is excluded. When the failure begins on the insured premises, there is still no coverage if the source of the failure is equipment that supplies off premises utility service to the described premises. Utility failure is loss of power, water, communications, and other utility services. It also includes lack of capacity and reduction in supply.

Communication services include Internet, cellular, satellite, and other access services. Power surge that occurs because of the power failure is excluded. If power failure or surge results in a covered cause of loss, coverage applies to the damage that covered cause of loss causes.

Related Court Case: Fire and Casualty Insurance Power Failure Exclusion Was Not Ambiguous, Barred Coverage

Related Article: Utility Service Coverage

f. War and Military Action

This exclusion lists three specific warlike activities that are excluded.

  • War. This can be a declared, an undeclared, or a civil war.
  • Military force of a warlike nature. These activities must utilize military personnel or agents of a government or other type of authority. The actions taken to thwart any of these activities are also considered war.
  • Insurrection, rebellion, revolution, and attempts to usurp power. Any government action taken to respond to such actions is also considered war.

Note: The words "terrorism" or "terrorist" do not appear in this exclusion.

Loss or damage caused by the action of water outside the building is excluded. To further clarify this exclusion, it is broken down into five separate components. Each defines exactly what water means within this exclusion. It is any of the following:

(1) Flood. Flood is flood. It is also surface water, tides, tidal water, and waves. Waves include tidal waves and tsunami. Overflow of any body of water is also excluded. A body of water is a natural or man-made river, creek, ocean, or lake. Spray from any of the above, wind-driven water, and storm surge are also excluded.

(2) Mudslide and mudflow which occurs when a sudden large volume of water mixes with unstable soil conditions and is excluded.

(3) The sewers, drains, and sumps part of this exclusion is broadened in two ways. The first is the how and the second is the what. In the 06 07 edition, water had to back up or overflow. In the 10 12 edition , the water can be discharged in other ways. A description of those other ways is not provided. Second, in the 06 07 edition, the water had to come from a sewer, drain, or sump. In the 10 12 edition , it may also come from a sump pump or related equipment. Related equipment is not defined.

(4) Underground water that presses against, flows into or seeps through foundations, walls, floors, paved surfaces, basements, doors, windows, and other building openings.

(5) Waterborne material. This section introduces the term "waterborne material." Damage caused by material carried by waters described in (1), (3), and (4) above is excluded. Damage due to material being moved or carried by mudslides or mudflow described in (2) above is also excluded.

                       

ISO adds a paragraph that explains when this entire exclusion applies. It applies whether any of the events are caused by an act of nature or otherwise. In order to clarify the term "otherwise," ISO provides an example that uses the terms “dam,” “seawall," "levee," "boundary" or "containment system" and states that any of them failing to contain the water is an "otherwise" type situation. However, it is important to note that using this example format does not limit the exclusion to failure of only those specific items. The goal is to define the term "otherwise" as broadly as possible.

Much like other exclusions, if fire or explosion occurs because of any action of water, coverage applies to the loss or damage the fire or explosion causes. In addition, if a sprinkler leakage loss occurs due to these actions of water, coverage applies to the loss or damage the sprinkler leakage causes. Sprinkler leakage coverage applies only if sprinkler leakage is a covered cause of loss on the coverage form or policy.

h. Fungus, Wet Rot, Dry Rot, and Bacteria

Loss or damage caused by or that results from the existence or any activity of fungus, mold, rot, bacteria, and other similar growing organisms is excluded. However, if the existence of one of them causes a specified cause of loss to occur, coverage applies to the loss or damage from that specified cause of loss.

This exclusion does not apply if the fungus, mold, rot, bacteria, or similar organisms result from a fire or lightning loss. It also does not apply to coverage that Additional Coverage–Limited Coverage for Fungus, Wet Rot, Dry Rot, and Bacteria provides.

2. Limited Exclusions

There is no coverage for loss or damage caused by the following exclusions. Note that the lead-in language is not as strong or inclusive for these exclusions as the language in 1. Broad Exclusions.

Editorial note: ISO does not give titles to the following exclusions. To assist in the analysis, we have provided a title to help identify the exclusion’s main intent.

a. Artificially Generated Energy

Coverage does not apply if electrical, magnetic, or electromagnetic energy generated artificially causes damage, interferes with, disturbs, or disrupts any of the following:

  • Networks, devices, systems, wires, or appliances of an electrical or electronic nature
  • Cellular or satellite devices, appliances, systems, or networks

Examples of artificially generated energy include electrical current, charges a magnetic field produces, electromagnetic, and microwaves, among others, but this listing is not inclusive. However, coverage applies to loss or damage caused by a fire that results from them.

Note: Open-ended exclusions like this have been largely ineffective when courts interpret them. The courts maintain that it is the insurance company's responsibility to be precise in its language because it authors the form.

b. Delay, Loss of Use, or Loss of Market

Delay, loss of use, and loss of market are all consequential losses that may occur following a direct damage loss. All are excluded.

c. Agricultural Smudging and Industrial Operations

Agricultural smudging operations produce significant amounts of smoke in order to protect crops from freezing. Loss or damage it causes is excluded. Loss or damage from industrial produced smoke, vapor, or gas is also excluded.

d. Miscellaneous Losses

This exclusion has seven subparts. Most of the causes of loss listed should be viewed simply as costs associated with doing business and not as losses.

(1) Wear and tear is simply loss caused by aging and everyday use and is excluded.

Note: Wear and tear is damage, diminishment in value, or erosion due to long or hard use or exposure. It includes breakdown over time and eventually becoming unusable because of previous use. This also includes the tendency of property to pull apart or break down into pieces because of forces applied to it.

(2) There is no coverage for r ust, fungus, and other hidden or latent defects. This includes any feature of the property that causes it to destroy itself.

(3) Damage caused by s mog is excluded.

Note: Smog is fog that has become mixed with and polluted with smoke.

(4) All buildings and some personal property may shrink, expand, crack, or settle. This is normal and should be expected. Accommodations for them should be made in building construction and design and with respect to storage of personal property. Losses from these causes are excluded because these are costs of doing business.

(5) Insects, birds, rodents, and other animals may cause considerable damage to buildings, and the sudden damage they cause is covered. However, their long-term presence, as evidenced by nesting, infestation, and waste products or secretions, is a building maintenance issue and is excluded.

(6) Machines regularly break down because of use. This is an anticipated cost of doing business that should be prevented with regular scheduled maintenance. As a result, mechanical breakdown is excluded. Rupture and bursting caused by centrifugal force is considered mechanical breakdown and is also excluded.

There is an exception. Coverage is provided for damage caused when a mechanical breakdown results in elevator collision. Elevator collision covers both the elevator and damage to the shaft and other property the elevator damages.

Equipment Breakdown Protection Coverage is available to cover this excluded cause of loss.

Related Article: ISO Equipment Breakdown Protection Coverage Form Overview

(7) Exclusions (1) through (6) above apply primarily to buildings. This exclusion applies specifically to Business Personal Property. Coverage does not apply to loss or damage caused by or that result from atmospheric dampness or dryness, temperature extremes, any changes in temperature, or from scratching or marring. These causes of loss are excluded because the insured should expect and anticipate these causes of property damage.

If any of the causes of loss in (1) through (7) above results in either a specified cause of loss or breakage of building glass, coverage applies to the loss or damage the specified cause of loss or glass breakage causes.

e. Explosion of Owned or Operated Steam Boilers

This exclusion applies to only explosions of steam boilers, pipes, engines, or turbines the named insured owns, leases, or operates. This means that most building tenants are not subject to this exclusion unless they have contractually agreed to operate the boilers.

There are two exceptions:

  • If the explosion causes a fire or combustion explosion, the resulting damage is covered.
  • If gases or fuel within the furnace, flues, or combustible gas passage explode, the resulting damage is covered.

Related Article:   ISO Equipment Breakdown Protection Coverage Form Overview

f. Continuous Water Seepage

Loss or damage due to water that leaks or seeps over a period of 14 days or more is excluded. Any damage or damage caused by any humidity, moisture, or vapor that is present over a period of 14 days or more is also excluded. This means that loss or damage due to water that leaks internally is covered unless it is allowed to run unchecked and unnoticed for more than 14 days.

g. Freezing Liquids

There is no coverage for loss or damage caused by or resulting from water that flows from plumbing, heating, or other equipment because of freezing. This exclusion also applies if other liquids, powder, or molten material flow for the same reason. However, this exclusion does not apply if any of the following apply:

  • The other equipment is a fire protective system.
  • The named insured maintains heat in the building or structure.
  • The named insured drains the equipment and shuts off the source of supply when heat is not maintained.

Note: This exclusion requires that the insured address maintenance issues that are not the responsibility of insurance. The insurance company has the right to expect the insured to act responsibly towards its property even if insurance coverage does apply.

h. Internal Dishonest Acts

Coverage does not apply to dishonest or criminal acts by the named insured, partners, members of a limited liability company (LLC), officers of a corporation, managers, employees, or authorized representatives. This exclusion applies whether these parties act alone, in collusion with each other, or in collusion with any other party.

Whenever the term employee is used in this exclusion it applies to permanent, leased, and temporary employees. The phrase “dishonest or criminal act” includes theft.

There is also no coverage for theft committed by anyone else entrusted with property. This exclusion applies whether a person is acting alone or is in collusion with others in committing the theft.

This exclusion applies 24 hours a day. This means that acts that occur during business hours are excluded as well as acts committed after hours.

There is one exception. There is coverage if employees or authorized representatives destroy property. This destruction exception does not extend to theft.

Note: The theft loss could be covered under employee dishonesty coverage.

Related Article: ISO Commercial Crime Coverage Forms Overview

i . Voluntary Parting

There is no coverage if the named insured or someone the named insured entrusts property to is tricked or deceived into giving property away.

j. Rain, Snow, Ice, or Sleet

Personal property in the open is not covered for any loss or damage due to rain, snow, ice, or sleet.

k. Collapse

Collapse is an unusual exclusion. At one time, it was covered, but over the years, because it was not defined, it was used as a cause of loss to cover flood, earthquake and other excluded loss scenarios. ISO changes its approach and now excludes Collapse and then adds it back as an Additional Coverage.

Collapse is excluded. This means the following property conditions are also excluded:

(1) Any type of sudden caving in or falling down

(2) When the structural integrity of the building is lost or compromised. The evidence of this could be parts of the property that separate from the rest of the building or the building appearing to be in danger of caving in or falling down .

(3) Cracking, sagging, expanding, settling, shrinking, bulging, or bending, but only as they relate to items (1) and (2) above

A collapse can trigger another cause of loss. When that other cause of loss is a covered cause of loss covered that damages covered property, the portion of the loss that is due to the covered cause of loss is covered.

There are two exceptions to this exclusion.

  • The coverage provided in Section D., Additional Coverage–Collapse is not excluded. This exception prevents a conflict between that Additional Coverage and this exclusion.
  • When a collapse is caused by specified causes of loss, building glass breaking, weight of rain on a roof, or weight of people or personal property, loss or damage from that collapse is covered.

l. Pollutant Damage

There is no coverage for loss or damage when it is caused by or results from any release, discharge, seepage, migration, dispersal, or escape of pollutants.

There are three exceptions to this exclusion.

  • When a specified peril causes the event, this exclusion does not apply.
  • When a pollution event results in a specified peril and that specified peril causes loss or damage, the resulting loss or damage is covered but not the pollutant event.
  • Loss or damage to glass caused when chemicals are applied to glass.

There is no coverage if an insured does not use reasonable measures to save and preserve property from further damage during and after the time of loss.

3. Anti-Concurrent Causation Exclusions

The subparts of this exclusion are sometimes referred to as the anti-concurrent causation exclusions. These exclusions are unique in that if a loss is covered as a covered cause of loss, with the exception of these exclusions, it is still covered. On the other hand, if the loss would have been excluded anyway, it is still excluded.

Related Article: Concurrent Causation And Anti-Concurrent Causation Clauses–A Discussion

The three subparts of this exclusion are:

a. Weather Conditions

Loss or damage due to weather conditions is excluded but only when the loss is caused by a weather condition combined with a cause of loss excluded in exclusion 1-Broad Exclusions.

b. Acts or Decisions

Governmental entities and related groups make decisions and take actions that not only affect others but may also result in loss or damage. Loss or damage that results from such acts or decisions is excluded.

c. Design Flaws

Loss or damage that is due to faulty, inadequate, or defective planning, design, materials, and maintenance is excluded. An important provision is that it applies both on and away from the designated premises.

4. Special Exclusions

These three exclusions apply only to Business Income, Leasehold Interest, and Legal Liability.

a. The following additional exclusions apply to the Business Income (And Extra Expense) Coverage Form, Business Income (Without Extra Expense) Coverage Form, and Extra Expense Coverage Form:

(1) Loss that is due to damage to finished stock or that is due to the amount of time needed to replace the finished stock is excluded.

Note: Because this incident is time-related, it does not apply to Extra Expense.

(2) There is no coverage for any loss that results from physical loss or damage to radio or television antennas or satellite dishes.

(3) Coverage does not apply to any increase of loss due to:

·          Interference by strikers or others that delay rebuilding. This applies only when such actions are taken at the actual building site.

·          Suspension, lapse, or cancellation of a license, lease, or contract. However, if the lapse or cancellation is a result of a loss, coverage applies during the period of restoration.

(4) Extra Expense coverage does not extend beyond the period of restoration when a license, lease, or contract is suspended, lapses, or is cancelled.

(5) Any type of consequential loss that is not loss of income or extra expense is excluded.

b. Leasehold Interest Coverage Form

CP 10 30 changes in two ways when Leasehold Interest Coverage is provided.

(1) The Ordinance or Law exclusion B. 1. a. does not apply.

(2) There is no coverage for loss that results if the named insured cancels a lease, has a license suspended, lapsed, or cancelled, or any consequential loss.

c. Legal Liability Coverage Form

The Legal Liability coverage form is more of a liability coverage form than a property coverage form. As a result, the CP 10 30 must be altered to accommodate the form.

(1) Five exclusions are removed and do not apply. They are exclusions 1.a. Ordinance or Law, 1.c. Governmental Action, 1.d. Nuclear Hazard, 1.e. Utility Services, and 1.f. War and Military Action.

(2) Two liability-related exclusions are added:

  • Contractual Liability

There is no coverage for liability the named insured assumes under a contract. The only exception is a lease agreement where it assumes liability for building damage due to attempted break-in. This agreement must be made prior to any accident, and the coverage form must insure the building in question.

  • Nuclear Hazard

There is no coverage for suits brought due to any damages or expenses related to nuclear reaction, radiation, or contamination.

5. Additional Exclusion

This exclusion applies only to merchandise, goods, or other products. It excludes loss or damage to such property because of an error or omission in production.

Loss or Damage to Products

There is no coverage for loss or damage to merchandise, goods, or other products caused by any party's error or omission. These errors or omissions are excluded beginning with planning or testing through repair and maintenance. This exclusion also applies to errors or omission made at locations where work is outsourced. It applies to any compromising of the product’s form, substance, or quality.

The one exception is if such an error or omission results in a covered cause of loss occurring. In that case, coverage applies to only the loss or damage the covered cause of loss causes.

C. LIMITATIONS

Now that what is covered and what is excluded has been analyzed, four coverage limitations must be reviewed. Each of the four has multiple subparts.

Editorial note: ISO does not give titles to the major categories of limitations. To assist in the analysis, we have provided a title to help identify the limitation’s main intent.

1. Broad Limitation

Loss or damage to any property described and limited in this section is excluded. Losses that are a consequence of loss to such property are also excluded.

a. Steam Boilers, Steam Pipes, Steam Engines, or Steam Turbines

There is no coverage if a loss is caused by or results from a condition or an event that occurs inside covered steam boilers, steam pipes, steam engines, or steam turbines. However, coverage applies if gases or fuel inside the furnace or within a flue or other passage explode and cause loss or damage.

b. Water Heating Devices

Loss or damage caused by water-heating devices, including hot water boilers caused by a condition or event within them, is excluded. However, coverage applies if an explosion causes the loss.

c. Interior of Any Building and Personal Property

The interior of a building and the personal property inside it is not covered for damage that rain, snow, sleet, ice, sand, or dust causes. However, there are two exceptions. Coverage applies:

  • If the roof or walls of the building are first damaged by a covered cause of loss that allows the rain, snow, sleet, ice, sand, or dust to enter
  • If snow, sleet, or ice on the building thaws and then causes the loss

Note: Leaving doors and windows open limits a loss that may otherwise be covered.

d. Building Materials Awaiting Installation in a Building

Theft of building materials is not covered if the items are not yet attached to the building.

  • Building materials that are being held for sale are covered. This exception is not applicable to CP 00 20–Builders Risk Coverage Form. CP 11 21–Builders Risk – Theft of Building Materials, Fixtures, Machinery, Equipment must be attached in order for this exception to apply to CP 00 20.
  • The exclusion does not apply to Business Income Coverage or Extra Expense Coverage

e. Inventory Shortage

Any missing property loss that can be proven only because an inventory revealed a shortage is excluded. This is because it really means there is no actual knowledge that something was taken. The loss could be due to a mathematical or computation error, employee theft, or a break-in. There is no coverage if there is nothing to physically suggest what actually happened .

f. Unauthorized Instructions

Coverage does not apply if a loss occurs because property was given to another person or sent to another place based solely on unauthorized instructions.

The crime insuring agreement CR 04 17–Fraudulent Impersonation should be considered to fill this coverage gap.

Related Article: CR 04 17–Fraudulent Impersonation

g. Vegetated Roofs

Lawns, trees, shrubs, and plants that are part of vegetated roofs are covered property because they are excepted from 2. Property Not Covered in the coverage form. This limitation is needed because they are alive and depend on certain conditions to thrive. They are also outdoors and are not protected from the elements. There is no coverage if these lawns, trees, shrubs, or plants are damaged due to:

  • The atmosphere or the soil being too damp or too dry
  • The temperature changes too often or is considered extreme
  • Hail, frost, rain, snow, ice, or sleet

2. Coverage Limited to Specified Causes of Loss

The insurance company does not pay for loss or damage to any of the following property unless a specified cause of loss or breakage of building glass causes the loss or damage:

This item has a limitation within a limitation. In addition to being covered only if specified perils or glass breakage causes the loss, coverage applies only if the animal dies or must be destroyed. This means that coverage does not apply to veterinarian bills or expenses incurred to save the animal.

b. This is breakage limitation that applies to only f ragile objects. Statuary, marbles, chinaware, and porcelains are examples of such fragile items. Glass and items that contain property for sale are not subject to this limitation. However, if a specified cause of loss or breakage of building glass causes the fragile items to be broken, coverage does apply.

c. Builders’ machinery, tools, and equipment that the named insured owns or has entrusted to it that qualifies as covered property is subject to this limitation.

  • Property that is located on or within 100 feet of the described premises is covered. This exception is not applicable to CP 00 20–Builders Risk Coverage Form.

3. Limited Theft Coverage for Specific Types of Property

The following categories have special limitations that apply to only theft losses. These are per occurrence sub-limits that do not increase the limit of insurance available to cover a loss. These sub-limits can be increased:

  • Furs, fur garments, and fur-trimmed garments are subject to a $2,500 limit.
  • Jewelry, watches, watch movements, jewels, pearls, gold, and similar items are subject to a $2,500 limit. This limitation does not apply to jewelry or watches that are valued at less than $100 each.
  • Patterns, dies, molds, and forms are subject to a $2,500 limit.
  • Stamps, tickets, letters of credit, and lottery tickets held for sale are subject to a $250 limit.

These limitations do not apply to the business income or extra expense coverage forms.

Note: Coverage applies for all other causes of loss, subject to the standard exclusions and the limit of insurance on the declarations.

4. Defect in Systems or Appliances

D. additional coverage–collapse.

This additional coverage is necessary because the coverage form specifically excludes collapse in Exclusion 2.k. Policies and coverage forms once provided collapse coverage. However, broad legal interpretations forced rewriting collapse coverage as a named cause of loss.

Related Court Case: Definition Of “Collapse” Ambiguous: Ruled To Include Both Actual And Imminent Collapse

1. Collapse coverage applies to abrupt collapse. As used in this coverage, abrupt collapse means that the building or part of the building must abruptly fall down or cave in. As a result of such falling down or caving in, the building or part of the building cannot be occupied for its intended purpose.

Related Court Case: "Collapse" Held Covered Only According To Its Popular Meaning

2. Payment for such abrupt collapse as described in item 1. is for only direct physical damage to the collapsed building or the business personal property that is inside the building. Furthermore, payment is made only if any of the following cause the collapse:

a. Hidden decay. This applies only if the insured was not aware of the hidden decay prior to the collapse.

Related Court Case: Imminent Collapse Covered Under Hidden Decay Provision

b. Hidden insect or vermin damage. This applies only if the insured was not aware of the hidden insect or vermin damage prior to the collapse.

Related Court Case: Court Deems Insect Damage Falls Under Meaning Of Collapse

c. Defective construction material or construction methods. This applies only if the collapse occurs while the building is being built, remodeled, or renovated.

d. Defective construction material or construction methods. This applies only if the collapse occurs after a building has been built, remodeled, or renovated and depends on one of the following contributing to the collapse:

·          Items a. or b. of this paragraph

·          Specified cause of loss

·          Glass breakage

·          Weight of people or personal property

·          Weight of rain that collects on a roof

3. There is no coverage for any of the following:

  • A building or any part of a building that is in danger of falling down or caving in
  • A part of a building that remains standing even if it has separated from another part of the building
  • A building or part of a building that is standing but shows evidence that it may collapse due to bulging, sagging, cracking, bending, leaning, settling, shrinking, or expanding

Related Court Case: Policy Is Ambiguous About Collapse

4. The following property is covered only if it is considered covered property, the loss or damage is due to collapse of a covered building, and items 2.a through 2d above cause the building to collapse:

  • Outdoor radio or television antennas
  • Awnings, gutters, and downspouts
  • Yard fixtures
  • Outdoor swimming pools
  • Pier, wharves, and docks
  • Beach or diving platforms or appurtenances
  • Retaining walls
  • Roadways, walks, and paved surfaces

5. There will be times when personal property abruptly falls down , but the building in which it is situated does not. In such cases coverage applies only if all of the following apply:

  • The collapse was due to a cause of loss listed in 2.a through 2.d. above.
  • The personal property that collapsed is in a building.
  • The personal property is not one of the types listed in 4. above.

Coverage does not apply if the only damage to the personal property is marring or scratching.

6. Any cracking, bulging, sagging, leaning, settling, expanding, or shrinking of personal property is not treated as collapse. Coverage applies only if the personal property either abruptly fell down or caved in.

7. This additional coverage does not increase the coverage part limits of insurance.

8. Whenever the term "covered cause of loss" is used throughout this coverage form, this Additional Coverage–Collapse is included, subject to the description and limitations this additional coverage provides.

E. ADDITIONAL COVERAGE–LIMITED COVERAGE FOR FUNGUS, WET ROT, DRY ROT, AND BACTERIA

Collapse was removed as a covered cause of loss and then added back in as an additional coverage many years ago. Similarly, and for the same reasons, fungus coverage was removed as a covered cause of loss and is added back as a separate cause of loss coverage. Although the method is similar, the coverage provided is very different.

1. C overage applies when the fungus, wet rot, dry rot, or bacteria result from a specified cause of loss. If flood is a covered cause of loss, fungus, wet rot, dry rot or bacteria from that flood is also covered. Because fire and lightning losses are excepted from exclusion 1.h. Fungus, Wet Rot, Dry Rot, and Bacteria and therefore covered, this Additional Coverage excludes losses that result from them in order to prevent duplication of coverage.

An unusual feature of this coverage is that it applies only if all reasonable steps are taken to prevent further damage to property during or following a loss. The requirement of taking reasonable steps does not indicate who must take the steps.

Lawns, trees, shrubs, or plants that are part of a vegetated roof are not eligible for this additional coverage.

2. Loss or damage includes more than the direct damage to the property by the fungus, wet rot, dry rot, or bacteria. It also includes removing them. The cost to tear out and replace walls and other parts of the building to get to the problem is covered. Any necessary testing to verify that the property is clean and the situation mitigated is also covered.

3. The limit of insurance for this coverage is not per occurrence. It is $15,000 per policy year. This means that the limit for the policy year is $15,000, regardless of the number of locations and occurrences. There is no additional limit available once the limit is used up. If the condition continues over multiple policy years, the limit available in the policy year when the loss occurred that caused the fungus, wet rot, dry rot, or bacteria is the only limit that applies.

Note: CP 04 31–Changes–Fungus, Wet Rot, Dry Rot, and Bacteria endorsement is available to increase the limit and also provide coverage per location.

4. The $15,000 limit is a sub-limit. It does not increase the limit of insurance.

5. This Additional Coverage does not affect the coverage available under Additional Coverage Extension–Water Damage, Other Liquids, Powder, or Molten Material Damage or under Additional Coverage–Collapse.

6. If business income and/or extra expense coverage is provided, this extension provides coverage in two different situations.

  • Coverage applies for 30 days if the specified cause of loss direct damage loss does not result in a business income or extra expense loss, but the fungus, wet rot, dry rot, and bacteria loss does.
  • In addition, if the direct damage loss from the specified cause of loss results in a business income or extra expense loss, this extension provides 30 additional days of coverage for the delays or extension of the down time due to the fungus, wet rot, dry rot, and bacteria.

F. ADDITIONAL COVERAGE EXTENSIONS

Three coverage extensions broaden the coverage CP 10 30–Causes of Loss–Special Form provides.

1. Property in Transit

This extension applies to only the named insured's covered personal property.

a. Covered p ersonal property in transit in or on a motor vehicle the named insured owns, leases, or operates is covered. This extension applies only if the property is not in a salesperson's care, custody, or control, and is more than 100 feet away from the premises but still in the coverage territory.

b. The loss or damage must result from one of the following causes of loss:

  • Fire, lightning, explosion, windstorm, hail, riot, civil commotion, or vandalism
  • Upset, overturn, or collision of the transporting vehicle with an object or another vehicle. A vehicle that strikes the roadbed is not considered collision.
  • Theft of an entire bale, case, or product. However, visible signs or evidence of forced entry must be present, and the vehicle's body or compartment where the property was kept must have been securely locked.

c. The additional limit of insurance under this Additional Coverage Extension is $5,000. It is not subject to coinsurance.

Note: This is property coverage that is extended for transit. The causes of loss are very limited. The causes of loss an inland marine transportation coverage form provides are much broader. For example, flood and earthquake are covered.

Related Articles:

AAIS Transportation Coverage Forms

ISO Annual Transit Coverage Form

ISO Motor Truck Cargo Owners Coverage Form

ISO Trip Transit Coverage Form

2. Water Damage, Other Liquids, Powder, or Molten Material Damage

This extension is unusual because it pays to repair undamaged property that was damaged in order to stop a cause of loss. If water, other liquids, powder, or molten material escapes from its confines, this coverage pays the cost to tear out any part of the building or structure when needed to reach the system or appliance that allowed the escape. This coverage also pays to replace the part of the building or structure torn out. It does not pay to repair the system or appliance because that is the named insured's responsibility. It does not pay for the damage the escape caused because the standard causes of loss form should cover it.

Note: This does not increase the limit of insurance but is still important because coverage does not usually apply to undamaged property.

Coverage applies to the cost to install temporary plates of glass or boards to cover window opening following a covered glass loss. Coverage also applies to the expense to remove obstructions that hinder the ability to repair or replace damaged covered glass. This coverage extension does not include the cost to remove or replace window displays.

Note: This is not an additional limit of insurance.

G. DEFINITIONS

This is any form or type of fungus. It includes mold, mildew, mycotoxins, spores, scents, and by-products that fungus produces.

2. Specified Causes of Loss (9 17 change)

This means only the following causes of loss: Fire, lightning, explosion, windstorm, hail, smoke, aircraft, vehicles, riot, civil commotion, vandalism, leakage from fire extinguishing equipment, volcanic action, and weight of snow, ice, or sleet. The following are also considered specified causes of loss:

a. Sinkhole collapse is the sudden sinking or collapse of land into spaces created by water acting on dolomite or limestone. The cost to fill sinkholes and the sinking or collapse into man-made underground spaces is not part of this cause of loss.

b. Damage caused by falling objects is covered. However, coverage does not apply to loss or damage to personal property that has been left in the open. It also does not apply to loss or damage to the interior of a building or to personal property inside the building unless the falling object first damages the roof or an outer wall.

c. Water damage is accidental discharge or leakage of either of the following:

  • Water or steam but only when caused by the cracking or breaking apart of the plumbing or HVAC system or appliance on the described premises. The system must contain water or steam. However, this coverage does not apply to sump systems.
  • Water or waterborne material but only when caused by cracking or breaking apart of a water or sewer pipe that is located off premises. Coverage applies only if all of the following apply:

o     The damaged water or sewer pipe is part of a potable water supply system or sanitary sewer system.

o     The system is operating under authority of a governmental subdivision.

o     The premises is located in that government subdivision.

o     Wear and tear cause the pipe to crack or break.

Note: This item is the only update in the 09 17 edition of the CP 10 30. It eliminated the word municipal and expanded coverage to include breakage of pipes belonging to a variety of public/private types of water and sewer systems providers.

This definition is limited by conditions in the Water Exclusion. Any situation the Water Exclusion excludes is not considered water damage. CP 10 30 then provides two examples of when situations that may appear to be water damage are not water damage because they are not covered under the Water Exclusion.

ISO Example 1: Weather induced flooding causes a pipe to break apart, causing water damage. There is no coverage even if wear and tear contributed to the pipe breaking because flooding caused the pipe to break.

ISO Example 2: A pipe breaks because of wear and tear. Damage that occurs following that break because of weather-induced flooding or that becomes worse because of it is excluded.

COMPARE: CP 10 30 TO CP 10 10

A key to understanding the differences between these two forms is that CP 10 10–Causes of Loss–Basic Form covers losses based on designated or named causes of loss instead of the risks of direct physical damage causes of loss that CP 10 30–Causes of Loss–Special Form provides. With CP 10 10, the insured must find coverage in one of the listed causes of loss. With CP 10 30, the insurance company must review the exclusions to determine that a specific loss is excluded.

CP 10 10–CAUSES OF LOSS–BASIC FORM

CP 10 10–Causes of Loss–Basic Form covers only 11 causes of loss. CP 10 30 also covers these causes of loss but does not list them specifically.

2. Lightning

3. Explosion. Explosion does not include operation of a pressure device or it rupturing or bursting. It also does not include a building or structure rupturing or bursting because water caused contents inside it to expand.

4. Windstorm or hail. There following are not considered windstorm or hail and are therefore not covered:

  • Frost or cold weather
  • Ice that is not hail, snow, or sleet. These are not wind even when wind accompanies them.
  • Damage to the interior of a building and/or to personal property inside the building caused by snow, rain, sand, or dust is covered but only when the roof or walls of the building are first damaged by wind or hail that then allows the snow, rain, sand, or dust to enter.
  • Hail damage to lawns, trees, shrubs, or plants that are part of a vegetated roof

5. Smoke damage that is both sudden and accidental is covered. Smoke damage from agricultural smudging or industrial operations is specifically excluded.

6. Damage by v ehicles or aircraft is covered only if the vehicle or aircraft actually physically contacts the damaged property. There is also coverage for property damaged that is inside a building when a vehicle or aircraft physically contacts the building. This means that the aircraft or vehicle or their parts must actually touch the property or the building where the property is located. As a result, sonic boom damage (also known as shock wave) is excluded because there is no physical damage.

There is no coverage for vehicle damage that the named insured’s owned vehicle (or any vehicle it uses in its operations) causes.

7. Riot or civil commotion. This cause of loss also includes acts of striking employees when they occupy a premises and looting by rioters that occurs at the same time as a civil commotion event.

8. Vandalism. Such damage must be willful and malicious. Loss that results from theft is not considered vandalism. However, damage that burglars cause while breaking into and exiting from a building is covered.

9. Sprinkler leakage damage. Sprinkler leakage occurs when any substance leaks or discharges from an automatic sprinkler system. This includes complete collapse of the system's tank. There is no requirement that the event be accidental. If the covered property is building, repairing or replacing damaged parts of the systems is covered when the damage causes leakage or is caused by freezing. The cost to tear out and repair parts of the building in order to access and repair a leaking sprinkler system is also covered.

Note: CP 10 10 defines what is considered an automatic sprinkler system. CP 10 30 does not define it.

10. Sinkhole collapse. This coverage does not apply to or include the costs to fill sinkholes. Coverage also does not apply to land that sinks or collapses into man-made mines and underground spaces.

11. Volcanic Action is covered similarly and as CP 10 30 defines it under the Earth Movement Exclusion.

This section in CP 10 10 is considerably shorter than in CP 10 30 because the causes of loss are defined. It has the broad, limited and special exclusions but not the anti-concurrent causations exclusions.

These exclusions are identical to those in CP 10 30. Both forms exclude Ordinance or Law, Earth Movement, Governmental Action, Nuclear Hazard, Utility Services, War and Military Action, Water, and Fungus, Wet Rot, Dry Rot, and Bacteria.

This exclusions section has only six subparts compared to 13 in CP 10 30. However, this does not mean that CP 10 10 provides broader coverage. It simply means that fewer exclusions are needed because the coverage is much narrower to begin with. The CP 10 10 exclusions are:

This exclusion is identical to exclusion 2. a. in CP 10 30.

b. Rupture or bursting of water pipes

This does not apply to sprinkler systems unless caused by a covered cause of loss.

Note: It is always to the insurance company’s advantage to have the sprinkler system operate properly.

c. Water or Steam Leakage or Discharge

There is no coverage unless a covered cause of loss damages the system or appliance. There is no coverage if such seepage or leakage continues for more than 14 days. The first part of this exclusion does not apply to automatic sprinkler systems. The second part of this exclusion is identical to exclusion 2. f. in CP 10 30.

d. Explosion of Owned or Operated Steam Boilers

This exclusion is identical to exclusion 2. e. in CP 10 30. However, the exclusion in CP 10 10 does not have the coverage exception for explosion of gases within the furnace.

e. Mechanical Breakdown

This exclusion is identical to the exclusion 2. d. (6) in CP 10 30. However, the exceptions are different. The exceptions in CP 10 30 are for elevator collision, glass breakage, and specified causes of loss. The exception in CP 10 10 is for mechanical breakdown that results in a covered cause of loss.

This exclusion is identical to exclusion 2. m. in CP 10 30.

3. Special Exclusions

These exclusions are identical in both forms.

C. ADDITIONAL COVERAGE

CP 10 10 has only one Additional Coverage. Limited Coverage for Fungus, Wet Rot, Dry Rot, and Bacteria is identical to CP 10 30.

Note: CP 10 10 does not cover collapse.

D. LIMITATION

CP 10 30 has a number of limitations, but CP 10 10 has only one. It states that the insurance company pays for only loss of animals that are killed or must be destroyed. It does not pay veterinarian bills.

Note: This limitation is identical to the second part of limitation 2. a. in CP 10 30. The first part in CP 10 30 limits coverage to only specified cause of loss. This is not necessary in CP 10 10 because it covers only the basic causes of loss.

E. DEFINITIONS

Fungus is the only term defined, and it is identical to the definition in CP 10 30.

COMPARE: CP 10 30 TO CP 10 20

A key to understanding the differences between these forms is that CP 10 20–Causes of Loss–Broad Form covers losses based on a designated or named causes of loss instead of risks of direct physical damage causes of loss that CP 10 30–Causes of Loss–Special Form provides. With CP 10 20, the insured must find coverage in one of the listed causes of loss. With CP 10 30, the insurance company must review the exclusions to determine that a specific loss is excluded. While CP 10 30 has more exclusions in order to explain what is not covered, the covered causes of loss sections of CP 10 20 is longer.

CP 10 20–CAUSES OF LOSS–BROAD FORM

CP 10 20–Causes of Loss–Broad Form covers 14 causes of loss. CP 10 30 also covers these causes of loss but does not list them specifically.

CP 10 20 provides broader coverage than CP 10 10 but is not as broad as CP 10 30 because it also lists only the covered causes of loss. It includes 14 covered causes of loss compared to 11 in CP 10 10. The first 11 in CP 10 20 are identical to the first 11 in CP 10 10. The three additional covered causes of loss are:

12. Falling Objects

C overage on personal property applies only to property in the building. It does not apply to property in the open. However, coverage does not apply until and unless the falling object first damages an outside wall of the building or its roof. This is identical to falling objects as described in the definition of specified causes of loss in CP 10 30.

13. Weight of Snow, Ice, or Sleet

Any of these that cause damage is covered unless the personal property damaged is outside a covered building. There is also no coverage for such damage to lawns, trees, shrubs, or plants that are part of a vegetative roof.

14. Water Damage

This is accidental discharge of water or steam due to a plumbing, air conditioning, heating, or other systems or appliances cracking or breaking apart. The limitations on coverage are similar to those in CP 10 30, but all are brought together in CP 10 20.

This section in CP 10 20 is considerably shorter than in CP 10 30 because the causes of loss are defined.

It has the broad, limited and special exclusions but not the anti-concurrent causations exclusions.

This exclusions section has only four subparts compared to 13 in CP 10 30, but this does not mean that CP 10 20 provides broader coverage. It simply means that fewer exclusions are needed because the coverage is much narrower to begin with. The CP 10 20 exclusions are:

a. Artificially Generated Energy  

b. Explosion of Owned or Operated Steam Boilers

This exclusion is identical to exclusion 2. e. in CP 10 30. However, the exclusion in CP 10 20 does not have the coverage exception for explosion of gases inside furnaces.

c. Mechanical Breakdown

This exclusion is identical to exclusion 2. d. (6) in CP 10 30. However, the exceptions are different. The exceptions in CP 10 30 are for elevator collision, glass breakage, and specified causes of loss. The exception in CP 10 20 is for mechanical breakdown that results in a covered cause of loss.

This exclusion is i dentical to exclusion 2. m. in CP 10 30.

C. ADDITIONAL COVERAGE–COLLAPSE

This coverage is similar to the coverage CP 10 30 provides. The only difference is that CP 10 30 states that specified causes of loss apply while CP 10 20 lists the covered causes of loss that apply.

D. ADDITIONAL COVERAGE–LIMITED COVERAGE FOR FUNGUS, WET ROT, DRY ROT, AND BACTERIA

This coverage is similar to the coverage CP 10 30 provides. The only difference is that CP 10 20 lists the causes of loss instead of referring to the specified causes of loss in CP 10 30.

E. LIMITATION

This section of CP 10 20 is identical to the same section in CP 10 10.

F. DEFINITIONS

Fungus is the only term defined, and it is identical to the definition in both CP 10 10 and CP 10 30.

CP 10 30 is the broadest of the three causes of loss forms and should be viewed as the first choice for most insureds. However, an alternative must be used from time to time. A good understanding of each form allows the agent to provide sound advice to the insured to enable it to make an informed selection.

Related Article: Compare: ISO Commercial Property Causes of Loss Forms

Understanding Basic, Broad, and Special Form Insurance Coverage

Aug 27, 2023.

special cause loss form

In terms of property coverage, there are three causes of loss forms available for landlord insurance policies: Basic, Broad, and Special. The differences in the perils covered within each of these forms can be confusing; it is imperative to understand which forms cover what perils in order to ensure that you have the right coverage for your property. This way, you can better position yourself to avoid costly out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a loss. 

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What is a “peril” in insurance terms?

A peril is a specific cause of loss. Some examples of perils are fire, windstorm , vandalism , theft and water damage. Understanding how these perils are covered (or not covered) will help policyholders make better decisions in selecting which form they wish to purchase in their insurance policy.   Insurers consider the probability of which insureds will be affected by which perils when approving coverage forms and setting insurance premiums. In addition to probability, they consider how frequently and how severely an insured may be affected by various perils. Different forms cover different perils allowing individuals and businesses to tailor their insurance policies to protect against various risks. Selecting which Causes of Loss Form to purchase is the foundation of your property insurance plan as it provides financial security against unforeseen events that could affect your rental property.

Basic Form Insurance Coverage

Basic Form coverage provides a fundamental level of protection against a limited number of perils. This coverage form offers protection against fire, smoke, lightning, explosion, windstorm, hail, riot or civil commotion, sprinkler leakage, aircraft or vehicle collision, vandalism, sinkhole collapse, and volcanic action.   It is important to note that any perils not explicitly listed in the policy are excluded under the Basic Form. As a result, policyholders opting for Basic Form coverage may find themselves exposed to significant risk if they encounter an event not specifically covered under the policy. Basic Form insurance is typically chosen when cost is the primary concern; Basic Form coverage tends to have a lower premium than Broad Form or Special Form coverage.

Broad Form Insurance Coverage

Broad Form coverage is essentially Basic Form coverage with a little kick! It covers all of the perils covered in the Basic Form PLUS the following additional perils: falling objects, water damage (occurring as a result of breaking apart or tearing of any plumbing, heating, or air conditioning systems or other appliances) and weight of ice, snow or sleet.

Special Form Insurance Coverage

Special Form coverage, also known as all-risk or open-peril coverage, offers the highest level of protection out of the three causes of loss forms. Unlike Basic and Broad Form coverage, which specify the covered perils, Special Form coverage adopts a broader strategy by including coverage for all risks except those explicitly excluded in the form.   With Special Form coverage, policyholders have extensive protection against a vast array of perils, ranging from basic causes of loss like fire or theft to special losses such as ice-damming or an employee accidentally driving a vehicle into the side of the building (as basic and broad form exclude vehicular collision by an employee of the insured). The Special Form’s comprehensive approach towards coverage minimizes the risk of encountering coverage gaps, providing a sense of security even in complex or ambiguous situations, and although Special Form coverage tends to carry a higher premium than both basic and broad form options, it offers additional peace of mind, especially for valuable assets or properties with unique risk profiles.  

Why we chose to only offer Special Form Insurance Coverage at Honeycomb

At Honeycomb, we are committed to providing comprehensive protection for our insureds; that is why we exclusively offer Special Form coverage. We understand that protecting your property investments is extremely important, and we strive to offer a level of security that goes above and beyond the norm.

By choosing Special Form coverage, our insureds benefit from a comprehensive safety net that covers a vast array of perils. This ensures that our policyholders enjoy peace of mind in knowing they are safeguarded against not only common risks but also unexpected or rare occurrences. With Special Form coverage, our clients can face uncertainties with confidence, knowing that their valuable assets and properties are shielded against a wide range of potential threats. 

It's important to note that protection against certain perils are not offered in any of these forms; some coverages such as back-up of sewers and drains, electrical damage due to artificially generated power surges or other forms of equipment breakdown are not included causes of loss under the Basic, Broad or Special Forms. Honeycomb Insurance offers these coverages as available add-ons to further tailor your commercial package policy and to better prepare you for the unknown. Let us handle the risk so you can focus on the things that matter. 

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What is basic form, broad form, and special form.

Basic, Broad, and Special form are three common coverage forms when insuring property.  Basic form is the most restrictive, while Special offers the greater level of protection.

Basic form covers these 11 “perils” or causes of loss:  Fire or Lightning, Smoke, Windstorm or Hail, Explosion, Riot or Civil Commotion, Aircraft (striking the property), Vehicles (striking the property), Glass Breakage, Vandalism & Malicious Mischief, Theft, and Volcanic Eruption. 

Broad form covers the same 11 perils, but adds 6 more:  Falling objects, Weight of ice, snow or sleet, accidental discharge or overflow of water or stream from within plumbing or related systems; does not include discharge or overflow of water from a sump,  sudden and accidental rupture of heating, air conditioning, fire protective sprinkler, or hot water heating system.  Freezing of plumbing or related systems.  And Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current.

Special form does not specifically list perils, rather it is “all risk” coverage unless otherwise specifically excluded.

As always refer to your actual policy for coverage language as it could vary slightly from carrier to carrier, and product to product.

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Coverage Insights – Commercial Property Insurance: Causes of Loss Forms Explained

special cause loss form

A causes of loss form is used to establish and define the particular types of perils covered in an insured’s commercial property policy. There are three causes of loss forms policyholders can choose from for their commercial property coverage: basic, broad and special. This article explains the differences between basic, broad and special causes of loss forms and highlights covered perils under each form.

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Principles of Risk Management and Insurance, 13th Edition by George E. Rejda, Michael McNamara

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Causes-of-Loss Forms

A causes-of-loss form is part of the complete contract. Insureds can select one of the following forms:

Causes-of-loss basic form

Causes-of-loss broad form

Causes-of-loss special form

The difference among these forms is the perils ­covered. The basic and broad forms provide named-perils coverage. The special form provides open perils coverage and insures against direct physical loss to covered property. 6

Causes-of-Loss Basic Form

The causes-of-loss basic form provides coverage for 11 basic causes of loss (perils) to covered property:

Windstorm or hail

Aircraft or vehicles

Riot or civil commotion

Sprinkler leakage

Sinkhole collapse

Volcanic action

Causes-of-Loss Broad Form

The causes-of-loss ...

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What is the Special Causes of Loss form?

The special causes of loss form differs from the basic and broad forms..

The Basic and Broad forms cover only what’s listed on the form.

The Special form covers risks of all kinds of direct physical loss except for those listed in the called-out exclusions, limitations and conditions.

Learn more about Special Causes of Loss and the Special form in our blog post on the topic.  

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The difference between basic, broad and special form insurance.

When reviewing property insurance for your commercial investment property, small business building, landlord policy, etc., there are often three different levels of property insurance coverage – Basic Form Insurance, Broad Form Insurance & Special Form Insurance.

basic broad special form insurance

What is The Difference Between Basic, Broad and a Special Form Insurance Policy?

While reviewing your existing insurance policy, look for the coverage form usually listed on a policy declarations page.  If you’re looking over pending insurance quote proposals, the form type will be listed clearly on the application you sign.  It’s very common for property owners or small business owners to misunderstand property coverages.  This confusion may lead to unforeseen gaps in property coverage.

difference basic vs broad form special form insurance chart

Basic Form Insurance

The Basic Form property insurance policy is the least comprehensive of the available options.  Basic Form policies only include coverage for the specifically named perils.  What this equates to that if a coverage is not specifically listed, or named, in the insurance policy, there is no coverage.  Basic Form policies are typically very restricted and should be considered with caution.  Usually, insurance carriers offer a Basic Form property insurance policy when the property is of old age, in poor condition, under renovation, or if it becomes a  vacant building .

The standard coverages that are included in a typical Basic Form insurance policy are:

  • Windstorm or Hail
  • Aircraft or Vehicle Collision
  • Riot or Civil Commotion
  • Sinkhole Collapse
  • Volcanic Activity

Broad Form Insurance

The next level of coverage offered by carriers on a property insurance policy is the Broad Form policy.  The hazards in the Basic Form are carried over and include a few additional named hazards.  Similar to the Basic Form policy, a Broad Form insurance policy covers perils on a named basis.  This means that if coverage is not specifically named, it’s excluded.

The coverages included in a standard Broad Form policy are the same as in the Basic Form insurance policy plus the following:

  • Burglary and/or Break-in damage
  • Falling Objects
  • Weight of Ice and Snow
  • Freezing of Pipes
  • Water Damage (Accidental)
  • Artificially Generated Electricity

Read More:   Your Guide to Illinois Business Insurance Requirements

Special Form Insurance

A Special Form property insurance policy offers the most comprehensive coverage of the three options.  It is important to consider that Special Form insurance policies are set up a little different than the previously discussed Basic and Broad Form policies.  The greatest difference is that in a Special Form insurance policy, all perils are covered apart from what is listen in the exclusions section.

So essentially, a Special Form insurance policy is read opposite of a Basic or Broad Form insurance policy.  Anything that is unlisted is covered, anything listed in the exclusions section is excluded.  The Special Form insurance policy is the ideal form for property owners.

There are common exclusions to most Special Form policies.  These include:

  • Ordinance of Law
  • Power Failure
  • Nuclear Hazard
  • Intentional Acts

It is vital for individuals and small business owners alike to carefully look over and READ any insurance policy.  Coverages and exclusions should be examined with a magnifying glass.  Overlooking an insurance policy can lead to detrimental consequences in the event of a loss.

Speak to an agent today for more information or for a  property insurance quote .

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Part VI: Basic Causes of Loss Form

We’re moving ahead with  Part VI  of our The Basics of Commercial Lines Rating series.

Remember that WSRB does not create rates. We provide our Subscribers with the information and data necessary to effectively assess risk and determine a rate. We give you the tools you need to perform the craft of rating. In this blog post, we’ll explore the basics of the Basic Causes of Loss form, an important element in rating properties.

An office building in downtown Seattle with another building reflected in its windows

Related: WSRB's Essential Guide to Commercial Property Risk Assessment

Basic causes of loss perils.

Both class-rated and specifically-rated properties are eligible for Basic Causes of Loss coverage, which covers 11 perils, or causes of loss. The Basic Causes of Loss form provides complete descriptions of each peril. These perils are the only causes of loss for which a claim will be paid under a Basic form policy, and they’re divided into two groups:

* Sprinkler Leakage is included in Group I whether or not the building is sprinklered.

When developing the premium for Basic Causes of Loss, both Group I and Group II perils need to be rated. As stated in the Commercial Lines Manual (CLM), Rule 70.D.2., when rating a Basic form policy, the amount of insurance and the coinsurance percentage must be the same for Basic Group I (BGI) and for Basic Group II (BGII).

Related: When to Use the Broad Causes of Loss Form

How to determine the loss cost, basic group i.

To determine the Basic Group I Loss Cost, you must first determine whether the building is class or specifically rated.

If it’s class rated, you can find the Basic Group I Loss Costs on the state loss cost pages of the CLM based on CSP class codes.

For specifically-rated risks, you will find the Basic Group I Loss Cost on the Loss Cost publication for the physically inspected property. For properties in Washington, WSRB provides this information on the Subscriber Solutions website .

Basic Group II

Developing the Basic Group II loss cost takes us into some new territory. Let’s see what it looks like for the state of Washington. The Group II classification uses symbols to reference construction. In Washington, these symbols are:

            A         Wind Resistive Construction             AB        Semi-Wind Resistive Construction             B          Ordinary Construction

For class-rated risks, the CLM contains a chart (Rule 70.E.2.a.(4) in the Washington exception pages) that provides you with the necessary information.   

            AB        Semi-Wind Resistive Construction             B          Ordinary Construction

*Construction Class Codes: 1=Frame, 2=Joisted Masonry, 3=Non-Combustible, 4=Masonry Non-Combustible, 5=Modified Fire Resistive, 6=Fire Resistive

At first glance, the chart can look confusing. A few examples quickly illustrate how it works.

  • A frame construction class (CC1) building would be symbol B (Ordinary Construction) for Basic Group II loss costs for most CSP class codes.
  • But if the property was a greenhouse (CSP 0580), it would be 4 x the B (Ordinary Construction) loss cost.

Note: When the Group II symbol includes a numerical prefix, multiply the applicable loss cost by that number.

Related: What is Covered and When to Use the Special Causes of Loss Form

For specifically rated properties, the Basic Group II symbol is shown on the published Loss Cost page for the property. On WSRB, you will find this on the search results in Risk Search.

Screen capture of a WSRB Risk Search result

Now that you have the BGII symbol, you can find the BGII Loss Costs on the Washington Loss Costs Pages of the CLM, Rule 70.E.2.e. These Loss Costs apply to both class-rated and specifically-rated properties.

To provide you with even further insight, WSRB provides a Loss Costs Publications handbook that explains the information shown on the published Loss Cost page for specifically-rated buildings in Washington. You can locate this document on the Publications tab of the Subscriber Solutions website .

The factors below apply to Basic Group I and Basic Group II Loss Costs in the following order unless otherwise specified by rule:

  • Company filed Loss Cost Multiplier.
  • Protection class multipliers: applicable to Group I class rated risks.
  • Territorial multiplier; applicable to class-rated risks.
  • Causes of loss exclusion adjustment.
  • Coinsurance or flat rate adjustment.
  • Limit of Insurance (LOI) relativity factor, if LOI rating method* is used (interpolated).
  • Factors or charges required by individual rules.

Find the complete Cause of Loss — Basic Form Rule (Rule 70) in Division Five of the CLM.

* “Observations of commercial property losses by limit of insurance indicate that average property losses sustained by policies written at higher limits are generally a smaller percentage of the limit than those losses sustained by policies written at lower limits”. WSRB filing CF-2012-RLC09

RISK ASSESSMENT GUIDE

Terry Krueger was WSRB's Senior Subscriber Services Analyst until her recent retirement. She joined WSRB in 2005 after many years in the insurance industry, working in commercial lines rating and underwriting.

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Special Cause of Loss: When Does the Water Exclusion Apply?   //

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Special cause of loss: when does the water exclusion apply.

special-cause-of-loss-when-does-the-water-exclusion-apply

A burst city waterline causes water to flood into a building's basement. The water then proceeds into the common area of a mall, which is insured under a proprietary Special Cause of Loss form with replacement cost.

Q: The carrier denies coverage based on the water exclusion. Is that correct? 

Response 1: The policy excludes “flood," defined as inundation caused by: “The unusual or rapid accumulation of runoff of rain or surface water from any source." This was not rain, and most courts interpret the undefined term “surface water" to refer to lakes, rivers, streams and so forth. Therefore, this is not an excluded loss.

A few courts have ruled that such water is actually “surface water," but is the carrier willing to take it that far? Refer to case law such as Heller v. Fire Ins. Exch. or Ebbing v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co.

Response 2: The Big “I” Virtual University (VU) article “ Commercial Property Coverage from Public Water Main Breaks ” explains that while the term “surface water” has been the subject of plenty of litigation, in most cases the courts restrict the definition to mean an accumulation of rain or melted snow on the ground.

Response 3: Some courts have found that water from a broken water main is not the same as rain or surface water. Therefore, this type of exclusion should not apply. See  Ender v. National Fire Ins. Co. of Hartford  as an example.

Response 4: I'm not quite sure how the carrier translates the exclusion to this situation. If they read closely, they will notice that the loss described in the question is in no way related to the exclusion they highlight:

(1) We will not pay for “loss" caused directly or indirectly by any of the following, unless otherwise provided. Such “loss" is excluded regardless of any other cause or event that contributes concurrently or in any sequence to the “loss".

1) Flood, meaning the partial or complete inundation of normally dry lands areas due to:

a) The unusual or rapid accumulation or runoff of rain or surface waters from any source; or…

This exclusion applies regardless of whether the damage resulted from an act of man or nature. None of the exceptions to the exclusion for ensuing fire, explosion, or sprinkler leaks applies here.

There are several requirements within the exclusionary wording that limit its scope. Specifically, the meaning of “flood” in the carrier's highlighted section requires the unusual or rapid accumulation of either rain, which this was not, and or surface waters, such as a pond, lake or river, which this was not, either; the water came from an underground waterline.

Therefore, the carrier's logic is incorrect. The form’s wording does not exclude this loss, and neither does any of the other water exclusion wording they use. The only possible exclusion that might preclude coverage is:

4) Water under the ground surface pressing, or flowing or seeping through;

a) Foundations, walls, floor, or paved surfaces;

b) Basements, whether paved or not; or

c) Doors, windows or other openings.

However, the water entered the insured's location through another entity's basement, so it was no longer underground water when it reached the insured's premises. Based on this wording, the carrier owes for this loss.

This question was originally submitted by an agent through the  VU’s Ask an Expert Service . Answers to other coverage questions are available on the  VU website . If you need help accessing the website,  request login information .

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Why Flood Should be a Covered Cause of Loss in Property Insurance

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There’s something fun about contemplating flood insurance while the ground outside the office is so saturated that it’s like walking on sponges. No. We aren’t having a flood event and even if we were, there’s a good chance that most property policies around us would exclude it and an even better chance that no one near me has a flood policy on their property.

That last thought is exactly why property insurers (whether commercial property or homeowners) should include flood as a covered cause of loss.

If you were to look at the ISO HO 00 03 05 11 Homeowners 3 – Special Form, or the ISO CP 10 30 09 17 Causes of Loss – Special Form, you would see this exclusion. (This isn’t all of it, and they’re not identical but really close, so let’s work with it.)

Water – This means: Flood, surface water, waves, including tidal wave and tsunami, tides, tidal water, overflow of any body of water, or spray from any of these, all whether or not driven by wind, including storm surge;…

I would recommend that some carrier, especially a well-capitalized Florida carrier, get brave enough to modify their water exclusion to make flood a covered cause of loss. I’m not suggesting that a carrier should make it an available option. Add it to the policy. Cover flood similar to the way other causes of loss are covered.

Flood can be underwritten against. In 1968 when the National Flood Insurance Program was created, there was data that helped the new agency to assess the flood risk for areas around the country, but that data was limited in scope, accuracy and detail.

Over 50 years later, there are terabytes of data available to assess the risk of flooding in any given location.

Today, we can look up the Special Hazard Flood Zone (SHFZ) for any location in the United States (except for those communities that don’t participate). FEMA has loaded its FIRMs (Flood Insurance Rate Maps) to its site, and anyone can look up an address to determine its location in relation to any flood zones.

That’s not enough information to really underwrite a location for its flood potential. If one looks at the DFIRM (Digital FIRM), there’s more to see than just the flood zones. That map can be compared with other aerial imagery. This comparison would allow the underwriter to determine how close a location is to a body of water and would show the underwriter what kind of building has been going on in the area.

New building, whether it’s putting up more buildings or making paved surfaces, changes the dynamics of where the water will go next.

There’s another map that can be considered, and that’s the topographical map. The more vertical distance there is between an insured location and a body of water, the less likely it will be that the water will rise enough to impact the building.

There is also more than 50 years of weather data to consider. We can find out how much rain a location gets and how many times that location might have flooded in some way over the years.

This sounds like a lot of information to try to gather, but this is a time when gathering data and making it tell a story is big business. You don’t honestly believe that there is no one out there that isn’t using all of this data to tell a flood story, do you?

By-peril rating provides a way to rate for flood. More carriers today in more states are filing by-peril rating for property in both the homeowners and commercial property markets. By peril rating allows the carrier to split up the premium by certain named perils, such as fire, wind, flood, etc.

By using a by-peril rating system, the insured can accurately price the flood peril and note the impact on the insured’s final premium.

How would it work? Take the replacement cost of what’s actually at risk of flooding, which is to say that if you have a commercial building that is 20 stories tall, only the first floor or two is likely to flood. The entire building might be at risk, but that’s not the situation here.

Now, use the fire rate (or wind if you like) for that building, multiply it by a modifier based on the true flood risk for the location. The true flood risk of that location includes the Special Hazard Flood Zone (SHFZ), the number of flood events that have occurred in the last 10 years to 20 years, the distance to any body of water, the size of that body of water, the altitude difference between the location and that body of water, and probably something else that I’m not thinking about.

This is a good place to remind you that I’m not an actuary, but I do have an idea or two about what should go into a rate modifier and what makes for a sound rate.

By using several data points, a reasonable rate for flood can be created for every location, which then should generate the appropriate premium for the risk.

Yes, that means that those who have a higher risk will pay more, but isn’t that one of the principles on which insurance operates?

Someone already knows how to write it into a policy. In a perfect world, you could simply amend the water exclusions to remove references to flood, but it’s not that simple. It’s a good thing ISO and insurance companies have been writing their own flood endorsements for a few years.

One solution could be to amend the water exclusion to provide coverage for a flood. This could be done by removing words, such as flood, surface water or overflow of any body of water. Another option might be to add an exception to the exclusion for defined floods.

While we are looking at potential policy considerations, this is a good place for a carrier to use a different deductible. They could add a flood deductible if the location is in a higher risk area. The deductible could be similar to the hurricane deductible in Florida, which is often written with a percentage of the replacement cost of the property.

Catastrophic risks are already being insured. The ideally insurable risk is a risk where there are a large number of similar exposure units. This allows us to predict the actual potential loss costs of an individual risk. The loss must be accidental, unintentional, measurable and calculable. The ideally insurable risk also shouldn’t be catastrophic.

This means that the risk must not be subject to a particular loss where a large number of similar risks are subjected to the same loss. That’s like saying that we shouldn’t insure against a hurricane because an entire city might be subjected to the same hurricane. As you already know, we do insure against hurricane and other catastrophic losses. Flood is no different.

This is possible in part because not every location is at risk of every possible catastrophic event. A company might have some locations that are at risk while the rest are not. Several insurance companies wrote the buildings that were impacted by Hurricane Michael, and not all of the buildings that were written by any of those companies were impacted. The same is true of flood.

A carrier that chooses to add flood as a covered cause of loss for all of its policies is doing something that is perfectly sound in the insurance world. It is spreading the risk to a large enough group of buildings so the risk for any one is relatively small, even if flood has the potential to be a catastrophic event.

Flood was a covered cause of loss before insurance companies decided that it was too risky after some flood events in the early 20th century. It’s 100 years later, and it’s time for flood to be a covered cause of loss in most cases. We will allow for some companies that write the extremely risky location to exclude flood, but only if there is a robust residual market in that state.

Topics Profit Loss Flood Property

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Written By Patrick Wraight

Patrick Wraight, CIC, CRM, AU, is director of Insurance Journal's Academy of Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected].

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Microsoft confirms memory leak in March Windows Server security update

Also: viasat hack wiper malware is back, users are the number one cause of data loss, and critical vulns.

Infosec in brief If your Windows domain controllers have been crashing since a security update was installed earlier this month, there's no longer any need to speculate why: Microsoft has admitted it introduced a memory leak in its March patches and fixed the issue.

Reports of the bug poured in across recent days as sysadmins reported Windows Server systems freezing and restarting. Microsoft has since confirmed the issue is to do with the Local Security Authority Subsystem Service process on Windows Server 2012 R2 (no longer under support), 2016, 2019 and 2022.

The issue is being triggered "when on-premises and cloud-based Active Directory Domain Controllers service Kerberos authentication requests," Microsoft noted in posts detailing known issues with its Server OS, including KB5035849 , KB5035855 and KB505857 .

"Extreme memory leaks may cause LSASS to crash, which triggers an unscheduled reboot of underlying domain controllers," Redmond noted, adding that the root cause has been identified and a patch will be issued in coming days.

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A patch has now been delivered .

Until you install that fix, the only way to prevent a domain controller from crashing is to monitor its memory usage and keep an eye out for leaks. Of course, if you don't have the patience or staff to dedicate to such an endeavor, there is another option: uninstall the patches that introduced the issue.

As one Reddit user on r/sysadmin pointed out, the fix is relatively simple. From a command prompt run as an administrator, simply enter one of the following depending on your Windows Server version:

Home users need not worry – this is an enterprise-level server issue only.

Critical vulnerabilities: More dead Atlassian links

Atlassian leads the list this week with a CVSS 10.0 vulnerability ( CVE-2024-1597 ) SQL injection bug in Bamboo Data Center and Server. While Atlassian has patched the issue, the matter isn't actually due to Atlassian's own code, but a "non-Atlassian Bamboo dependency."

That said, Atlassian did send out emails to customers to warn them of the issue before the links offering information about the vulnerability had gone live – a mistake we note it's made before. Someone needs some remedial email scheduling training.

  • CVSS 9.9 – CVE-2023-46808 : Ivanti Neurons for ITSM versions 2023.1, 2023.2 and 2023.3 are vulnerable to remote file writes in sensitive directories. Patches are available.
  • CVSS 9.6 – CVE-2023-41724 : All supported versions of Ivanti Standalone Sentry, and out-of-band versions as well, are vulnerable to remote code execution. Patches are available.
  • CVSS 8.7 – CVE-2024-2442 : Franklin Fueling System EVO 550 and 5000 tank gauges contain a path traversal vulnerability that could allow an attacker to read arbitrary files.

Wiper used in Viasat hack is back, and worse than before

Security researchers have spotted a new, more dangerous variant of AcidRain – the wiper malware used as part of the Viasat hack that led to the bricking of thousands of modems in Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe.

SentinelLabs researchers have dubbed the variant AcidPour and have linked it – like its predecessor – to Russian threat actors.

While the original AcidRain variant was designed to only target MIPS architecture used in embedded systems like the modems trashed at the onset of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, AcidPour has been extended to hit additional Linux systems. Included in this variant is capability to destroy Linux unsorted block images and device mapper logic, suggesting it may be intended to disrupt RAID arrays and large storage systems.

It's not clear if anyone has been targeted by AcidPour yet, though SentinelLabs notes the discovery of the variant coincided with the disruption of multiple Ukrainian telecom networks last week, and GRU-linked parties have claimed responsibility.

"This is a threat to watch," NSA cyber security director Rob Joyce said of the variant. "My concern is elevated because this variant is a more powerful AcidRain variant, covering more hardware and operating system types."

Only you can prevent data loss

Sure, cyber criminals can be the cause of data loss incidents, but according to Proofpoint it's far more likely you'll end up in a data loss situation because of negligent employees.

Proofpoint released its inaugural Data Loss Landscape report this week, which found that 85 percent of companies experienced some form of data loss in the past year. Of the 600 security professionals who responded to the survey, 71 percent said the main cause of their data loss was careless users.

Listed as common causes for data loss were misdirected emails, users visiting phishing sites, installation of unauthorized software and people sending sensitive data to their personal email accounts.

The greatest insider threat reportedly comes from privileged users – like HR and finance professionals, who were cited by 63 percent of respondents as their biggest risks. It's not like they're all negligent, though – Proofpoint noted that its data suggests just one percent of users were responsible for 88 percent of data loss events.

In other words, make sure you have data loss prevention measures in place, but still be sure to keep an eye on that absent-minded accountant who loves to click on suspicious links. ®

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Watching a solar eclipse without the right filters can cause eye damage. Here's why

Nell Greenfieldboyce 2010

Nell Greenfieldboyce

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A woman watches an annular solar eclipse on October 14, 2023 using special solar filter glasses at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Carlos Tischler/ Eyepix Group/Future Publishing via Getty Images hide caption

A woman watches an annular solar eclipse on October 14, 2023 using special solar filter glasses at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

On April 8, as millions of people try to watch a solar eclipse sweep over North America, eye doctors across the United States will be on high alert.

That's because, while a solar eclipse is a stunning celestial event, it can also be dangerous. Looking at any part of the exposed sun without the right kind of protection can permanently injure the eye's light-sensitive retina.

And if past eclipses are prologue, it's likely that some eclipse-gazers will show up at doctors' offices with significant eye damage.

For April's eclipse, going from 'meh' to 'OMG' might mean just driving across town

For April's eclipse, going from 'meh' to 'OMG' might mean just driving across town

In 2017, during the solar eclipse seen across the United States, that happened to multiple people despite abundant media coverage about the danger of looking at the sun when it is anything less than fully and completely covered by the moon.

In New York City, for example, one young woman came to the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, complaining of blurred and distorted vision.

She had peeked up at the crescent sun without eyewear at first, then looked at it longer while wearing what she thought were appropriate eclipse glasses.

Everything you need to know about solar eclipse glasses before April 8

Everything you need to know about solar eclipse glasses before April 8

"But the problem was she was handed glasses from someone else," says ophthalmologist Avnish Deobhakta , so she didn't know if the eyewear really met safety standards .

Doctors found a permanent, crescent-shaped wound on her retina; there's no treatment for that kind of injury, which is similar to the kind of light-induced damage caused by pointing a laser into the eye.

Other eclipse-related eye injuries were reported in California and Utah .

Given that more than 150 million people directly viewed either a partial eclipse or a total solar eclipse, however, the number who suffered eye problems may seem relatively small.

Plan to watch the eclipse from a wild mountain summit? Be ready for harsh conditions

Plan to watch the eclipse from a wild mountain summit? Be ready for harsh conditions

"We've got less than 100 cases across Canada and the U.S.," says Ralph Chou , an eclipse eye safety expert with the University of Waterloo in Canada.

But no one knows for sure how many people damaged their eyes in 2017, he says, because not every case gets written up for a medical journal, and people may not seek help for less severe vision troubles.

"A lot of them, if they actually happened, were probably relatively minor and, you know, they resolved on their own within weeks or months," says Chou, who says that about half of those who experience significant blurring on the day after an eclipse will recover almost completely.

Some of that recovery may just be the brain learning to compensate and "fill in" the blanks, says Deobhakta, who notes that "there's two eyes, and often there's asymmetric injury. Your brain kind of gets used to it."

The eclipse gives astronomy clubs an opportunity to shine

The eclipse gives astronomy clubs an opportunity to shine

He notes that there are ways to enjoy the eclipse without looking up at all; everyday household objects like colanders allow you to create pinhole projectors that let you watch an image of the sun becoming more and more crescent-shaped.

"My advice is to not look at the sun, because you may not realize that it is affecting your retina. It does not hurt. It doesn't burn at the time. It's not as if you feel it," says Deobhakta.

If you do choose to look up at the sun when it is partially eclipsed, says Deobhakta, "make sure you really are sure that you have the standard glasses that have the right filters."

The American Astronomical Society has a list of vetted suppliers .

Will you be celebrating the solar eclipse? NPR wants to hear from you

Will you be celebrating the solar eclipse? NPR wants to hear from you

If you still have reliable eclipse viewers from 2017 that are in good condition, those should still work fine, says Chou.

He notes that eclipse viewers usually have a "best by" date on them, but that is to satisfy European regulations related to personal protective equipment.

"It's essentially meaningless because the filters do not age," says Chou. "If you've taken good care of the viewers from 2017, they haven't been crushed or folded or whatever to damage the mountings, then they're perfectly safe to use for this eclipse."

Despite the warnings, some people try to glimpse the partially-eclipsed sun without eye protection, thinking that a quick look won't cause any harm. While an initial glance at the sun may not cause lasting damage, says Chou, repeated peeks do add up.

"At some point, you may tip yourself over the critical threshold," says Chou. "Unfortunately, you don't realize that until far too late."

The eye damage only becomes apparent hours after it occurs. Typically, people wake up the morning after observing an eclipse and see a spot of extreme fuzziness in the center of their field of vision.

There is one time when it's safe to look up at the sun with the naked eye, experts say, and that's when the sun is totally covered by the moon.

This eclipse phase is only visible from the so-called " path of totality ," a stretch of land from Texas to Maine. And the experience of totality doesn't last long — up to four and a half minutes or so, depending on your location.

When the sun is 100% obscured, the sky abruptly darkens and the once-bright sun becomes a dark circle surrounded by a ghostly white ring called the corona.

If people wear super-dark eclipse eyewear during these dramatic moments, they'll miss the whole show.

"People get so concerned to not hurt their eyes, which of course is super important, that they don't take their glasses off when the moon completely covers the sun," says Laura Peticolas , a space physicist at Sonoma State University. "And then they're like, 'I never saw the corona.'"

So knowing when to take the glasses off, and when to put them on, is key.

Chou says that in the last moments before the sun gets totally covered, the thin crescent of the bright sun breaks into discrete points of bright light. These are called " Baily's beads ," and they are the last bits of light from the disk of the sun shining through the valleys on the edge of the moon.

"And as they go out, their disappearance is a signal that it is now safe to remove the filters and look at the sun without a protective filter," he explains.

As soon as the sun starts to re-emerge, the glasses need to immediately go back on.

"It is possible to observe the eclipse in perfect safety," says Chou, who has seen 19 total solar eclipses.

He encourages people to go out and enjoy an event that won't happen again in the United States until 2044, even as he realizes that some people will be too fearful of eye damage.

"I recognize that there are going to be people who just don't trust the science and just don't trust the public service announcements and are just going to ignore the eclipse as much as they can," says Chou. "It's an unfortunate thing."

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Six presumed dead after cargo ship crash levels Baltimore bridge

BALTIMORE — A major Baltimore bridge collapsed like a house of cards early Tuesday after it was struck by a container ship, sending six people to their deaths in the dark waters below, and closing one of the country’s busiest ports.

By nightfall, the desperate search for six people who were working on the bridge and vanished when it fell apart had become a grim search for bodies.

“We do not believe that we’re going to find any of these individuals still alive,” Coast Guard Rear Admiral Shannon N. Gilreath said.

Jeffrey Pritzker, executive vice president of Brawner Builders, said earlier that one of his workers had survived. He did not release their names.

Up until then, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore had held out hope that the missing people might be found even as law enforcement warned that the frigid water and the fact that there had been no sign of them since 1:30 a.m. when the ship struck Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Moore expressed heartbreak after officials suspended the search for survivors.

"Our heart goes out to the families," he said. "I can’t imagine how painful today has been for these families, how painful these hours have been have been for these families."

It was a crushing blow to the loved ones of the missing men, who had waited for hours at a Royal Farms convenience store near the entrance of the bridge for word of their fate. 

Follow live updates on the Baltimore bridge collapse

The tragic chain of events began early Tuesday when the cargo ship Dali notified authorities that it had lost power and issued a mayday moments before the 984-foot vessel slammed into a bridge support at a speed of 8 knots, which is about 9 mph.

Moore declared a state of emergency while rescue crews using sonar detected at least five vehicles in the frigid 50-foot-deep water: three passenger cars, a cement truck and another vehicle of some kind. Authorities do not believe anyone was inside the vehicles.

Investigators quickly concluded that it was an accident and not an act of terrorism.

Ship was involved in another collision

Earlier, two people were rescued from the water, Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace said. One was in good condition and refused treatment, he said. The other was seriously injured and was being treated in a trauma center.

Moore said other drivers might have been in the water had it not been for those who, upon hearing the mayday, blocked off the bridge and kept other vehicles from crossing.

“These people are heroes,” Moore said. “They saved lives.”

Nearly eight years ago, the Dali was involved in an accident. In July 2016, it struck a quay at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges in Belgium, damaging the quay.

The nautical commission investigated the accident, but the details of the inquiry were not immediately clear Tuesday.

The Dali is operated and managed by Synergy Group. In a statement, the company said that two port pilots were at the helm during Tuesday's crash and that all 22 crew members onboard were accounted for.

The Dali was chartered by the Danish shipping giant Maersk, which said it would have no choice but to send its ships to other nearby ports with the Port of Baltimore closed.

The bridge, which is about a mile and a half long and carries Interstate 695 over the Patapsco River southeast of Baltimore, was "fully up to code," Moore said.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy said that her agency will lead the investigation and that a data recorder on the ship could provide more information.

"But right now we're focusing on the people, on the families," she said. "The rest can wait."

President Joe Biden vowed to rebuild the bridge and send federal funds.

"This is going to take some time," the president warned. "The people of Baltimore can count on us though to stick with them, at every step of the way, till the port is reopened and the bridge is rebuilt."

Speaking in Baltimore, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg echoed the president's promise.

"This is no ordinary bridge," he said. "This is one of the cathedrals of American infrastructure."

But Buttigieg warned that replacing the bridge and reopening the port will take time and money and that it could affect supply chains.

The Port of Baltimore, the 11th largest in the U.S., is the busiest port for car imports and exports, handling more than 750,000 vehicles in 2023 alone, according to data from the Maryland Port Administration.

Image: Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapses After Being Struck By Cargo Ship

Writer David Simon, a champion of Baltimore who set his TV crime drama "The Wire" on the streets of the city he once covered as a reporter, warned online that the people who will suffer the most are those whose livelihoods depend on the port.

"Thinking first of the people on the bridge," Simon posted on X . "But the mind wanders to a port city strangling. All the people who rely on ships in and out."

Timeline of crash

Dramatic video captured the moment at 1:28 a.m. Tuesday when the Dali struck a support and sent the bridge tumbling into the water. A livestream showed cars and trucks on the bridge just before the strike. The ship did not sink, and its lights remained on.

Investigators said in a timeline that the Dali's lights suddenly shut off four minutes earlier before they came back on and that then, at 1:25 a.m. dark black smoke began billowing from the ship's chimney.

A minute later, at 1:26 a.m., the ship appeared to turn. And in the minutes before it slammed into the support, the lights flickered again.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said the workers on the bridge were repairing concrete ducts when the ship crashed into the structure.

At least seven workers were pouring concrete to fix potholes on the roadway on the bridge directly above where the ship hit, said James Krutzfeldt, a foreman.

Earlier, the Coast Guard said it had received a report that a “motor vessel made impact with the bridge” and confirmed it was the Dali, a containership sailing under a Singaporean flag that was heading for Sri Lanka.

Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapses After Being Struck By Cargo Ship

Bobby Haines, who lives in Dundalk in Baltimore County, said he felt the impact of the bridge collapse from his house nearby.

"I woke up at 1:30 this morning and my house shook, and I was freaking out," he said. "I thought it was an earthquake, and to find out it was a bridge is really, really scary."

Families of bridge workers wait for updates

Earlier in the day, relatives of the construction crew waited for updates on their loved ones.

Marian Del Carmen Castellon told Telemundo her husband, Miguel Luna, 49, was working on the bridge.

“They only tell us that we have to wait and that they can’t give us information,” she said.

Castellon said she was "devastated, devastated because our heart is broken, because we don’t know how they have been rescued yet. We are just waiting for the news."

Luna's co-worker Jesús Campos said he felt crushed, too.

“It hurts my heart to see what is happening. We are human beings, and they are my folks,” he said.

Campos told The Baltimore Banner that the missing men are from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

Active search and rescue ends

The Coast Guard said it was suspending the active search-and-rescue effort at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

"Coast Guard’s not going away, none of our partners are going away, but we’re just going to transition into a different phase," Gilreath said at a news conference.

Maryland State Police Superintendent Roland L. Butler, Jr., said it was moving to a recovery operation. Changing conditions have made it dangerous for divers, he said. 

Butler pledged to "do our very best to recover those six missing people," but the conditions are difficult.

"If we look at how challenging it is at a simple motor vehicle crash to extract an individual, I'm sure we can all imagine how much harder it is to do it in inclement weather, when it's cold, under the water, with very limited to no visibility," he said.

"There's a tremendous amount of debris in the water," which can include sharp metal and other hazards, and that could take time, Butler said.

'A long road in front of us'

Built in 1977 and referred to locally as the Key Bridge, the structure was later named after the author of the American national anthem.

The bridge is more than 8,500 feet long, or 1.6 miles. Its main section spans 1,200 feet, and it was one of the longest continuous truss bridges in the world upon its completion, according to the National Steel Bridge Alliance .

About 31,000 vehicles a day use the bridge, which equals 11.3 million vehicles per year, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority.

The river and the Port of Baltimore are both key to the shipping industry on the East Coast, generating more than $3.3 billion a year and directly employing more than 15,000 people.

Asked what people in Baltimore can expect going forward, the state's transportation secretary said it is too early to tell.

"Obviously we reached out to a number of engineering companies, so obviously we have a long road in front of us," Wiedefeld said.

Julia Jester reported from Baltimore, Patrick Smith from London, Corky Siemaszko from New York and Phil Helsel from Los Angeles.

Julia Jester is a producer for NBC News based in Washington, D.C.

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Patrick Smith is a London-based editor and reporter for NBC News Digital.

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Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.

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Corky Siemaszko is a senior reporter for NBC News Digital.

Baltimore bridge collapse latest: Six missing workers 'presumed dead'; satellite images reveal scale of bridge damage

Officials say they are transitioning from a search and rescue mission to a recovery operation "based on the length of time" and the "temperature of the water".

Wednesday 27 March 2024 00:36, UK

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  • Major bridge collapses in Baltimore after being struck by a cargo ship
  • Six people still missing as two pulled from water
  • Company says six workers are presumed dead
  • Ship issued mayday before crash | Vessel appeared to lose power and start smoking
  • Video of collapse | Satellite images reveal scale of damage
  • Dali vessel involved in separate incident in 2016
  • What is this bridge?
  • Listen:  Expert view on the Baltimore bridge collapse

Thank you for following along. 

You can scroll down to catch up on the latest updates as happened during the day.

We'll be back with more news tomorrow. 

Officials say they are transitioning from search and rescue operation to a recovery operation.

US Coast Guard and Maryland State Police officials say that based on the frigid temperature of the water and the length of time that had elapsed since the bridge came down there was little if any chance that the six missing could be found alive.

Maryland's senator has praised the work of first responders, saying their heroism is a "ray of light on this dark day". 

Emergency workers managed to stop traffic along the Francis Scott Key Bridge after the Dali container ship put out a mayday call.

Chris Van Hollen said their actions "saved lives" and he was "thankful for them". 

A team of construction workers were repairing potholes along the bridge at the time it collapsed. 

Eight people were initially reported missing, but two people were found, with one suffering serious injuries. 

A short while ago, we heard from the executive vice president of construction company Brawner Builders, who confirmed the six workers still unaccounted for are presumed dead.

Six workers missing after the Baltimore bridge collapsed are presumed dead, the executive vice president of Brawner Builders has confirmed. 

Jeffrey Pritzker told our US partner site NBC News that there was one survivor. 

The company is not releasing names at this time.

Eight people, who were working on the bridge at the time it was struck by the Dali cargo ship, were initially reported missing. 

Two of them were found, with one suffering serious injuries. 

The other six have been missing for more than 12 hours. 

Maryland's emergency management department has raised its state activation level. 

It is now registered as 'full' - meaning an incident has occurred that may require significant resources. 

As a result, the state's emergency operations centre has been "fully staffed". 

The state's activation levels change based on a variety of factors.

The most influential factor is the occurrence of a significant incident, which is a term used to describe a single or multi-jurisdictional incident. 

A construction worker has said he was told his missing colleagues were on a break when the Dali ship crashed into the Baltimore bridge. 

Jesus Campos told the AP news agency some members of staff were sitting in their trucks when the bridge collapsed. 

The Brawner Builders employee said he learned about the disaster from a co-worker and immediately worried about colleagues he knew were working on the bridge. 

"When he told me that, they came to mind and I was praying to God that nothing had happened to them," he added.

"It is so hard for me to describe. I know that a month ago I was there, and I know what it feels like when the trailers pass.

"Imagine knowing that it is falling. It is so hard, one would not know what to do," he said. 

One person involved in the Baltimore bridge collapse has been discharged from hospital, an official at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Centre has told AP. 

Dr David Efron did not comment on the nature of the patient's injuries, and the hospital has not released their name. 

Eight people were initially reported missing after the collapse. 

Two people have been found - one was said to have serious injuries, while the other did not require hospital treatment. 

Search and rescue operations are continuing this evening to find the six construction workers still missing. 

The US transportation secretary has said the path to rebuilding the collapsed Baltimore bridge will not be quick or easy. 

Pete Buttigieg described the bridge as "one of the cathedrals of American infrastructure". 

"It has been part of the skyline for this region for longer than many of us have been alive," he said.

He has also taken the time to thank first responders and offered comfort to those "who woke up today to the news that no one wants to receive". 

"This is an excruciating day for several families," he said. 

Clearer satellite images have emerged of the moment the Dali container ship hit the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The vessel crashed into the structure after issuing a mayday call and losing power.

Earlier, Maryland governor Wes Moore said the ship was travelling at a speed of eight knots at the time it sent out its distress call.

Within minutes of departure on Tuesday, the faltering container ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Here is a timeline of the Singapore-flagged vessel's collision, in local time (four hours behind British time).

1.04am: Loaded with shipping containers, Dali departs from Baltimore's port, heading to Colombo, Sri Lanka.

1.24am: Dali slowly approaches the Key Bridge, according to video captured by StreamTime Live.

1.24am and 33 seconds: The ship appears to suffer a total power failure as all its lights go out.

1.25am and 31 seconds: About a minute later, the ship's lights flicker back on. Black smoke starts rising from somewhere aboard the ship.

1.26am and 37 seconds: The ship's lights go dark again.

1.27am: Dali appears to be colliding with one of the Key Bridge's piers. The US Coast Guard receives the first report of a collision.

1.27am and 10 seconds: The ship's lights come back on.

1.28am and 48 seconds: The roadway of the Key Bridge begins collapsing.

1.29am: Most of the bridge's span has plunged beneath the water.

1.40am: Baltimore City Fire Department has dispatched rescue teams for the Patapsco River, with reports of multiple people in the water.

1.50am: The first fire unit arrives on the scene.

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A Total Solar Eclipse Is Coming. Here’s What You Need to Know.

These are answers to common questions about the April 8 eclipse, and we’re offering you a place to pose more of them.

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The sun flares at the edge of the moon during a total eclipse.

By Katrina Miller

On April 8, North America will experience its second total solar eclipse in seven years. The moon will glide over the surface of our sun, casting a shadow over a swath of Earth below. Along this path, the world will turn dark as night.

Skywatchers in Mexico will be the first to see the eclipse on the mainland. From there, the show will slide north, entering the United States through Texas, then proceeding northeast before concluding for most people off the coast of Canada.

Why eclipses happen is simple: the moon comes between us and the sun. But they are also complicated. So if you’ve forgotten all of your eclipse facts, tips and how-to’s since 2017, we’re here to explain it for you.

But before we dive in, there is one thing to know that is more important than anything else: It is never safe to look directly at the sun during an eclipse (except for the few moments when the moon has fully obscured its surface). At all other times, watch the event through protective eye equipment . Read on to learn about how to watch an eclipse safely.

What is a total solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon orients itself between Earth and the sun, shielding the solar surface from our view.

In cosmic terms, it is unusual that this happens: the moon is about 400 times smaller than the sun, but it is about 400 times closer to us. That means that when these two celestial bodies are aligned, they appear to be the same size in the sky.

What other types of eclipses are there?

Annular solar eclipses occur when the moon is farther from Earth and appears too small to completely shield the sun’s surface. Instead, the outer part of the solar disk remains uncovered — a “ring of fire” in the sky.

Partial solar eclipses happen when Earth, the moon and the sun are imperfectly aligned. The moon only obscures a chunk of the sun. There will be two in 2025.

Earth can also get between the moon and the sun, creating a lunar eclipse. This can be observed once or twice a year .

How dark will it be during the eclipse?

In any given place along the eclipse path , the event will last around two hours or more.

The event will commence with a partial solar eclipse, as the moon takes a small bite out of the sun’s edge, then consumes more and more of its surface. According to NASA , this can last anywhere from 70 to 80 minutes.

The phase of the eclipse where the moon has completely blocked the sun’s surface is called totality. This is the only time the event can be viewed with the naked eye.

The length of totality varies by location. In April, some places will experience this phase for more than four minutes; others, for only one to two minutes.

During totality, the sky will get dark as night and the temperature will drop. Wispy white strings of light from the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, will suddenly be visible. Lucky viewers may even spot a thin, reddish-pink circle around the edge of the moon. That’s the chromosphere, an atmospheric layer below the sun’s corona. Its color comes from the presence of hydrogen throughout the layer.

After totality, the sun will slowly peek out from behind the moon again — another partial eclipse that will last the same amount of time as the first one. The moon will recede until the sun is back to normal brightness in our sky.

How can I watch the solar eclipse safely?

In general, avoid looking directly at the sun without special equipment to protect your eyes. Inexpensive options for watching the eclipse include paper solar viewers and glasses. If you are using equipment purchased for a past solar eclipse, make sure to inspect it. Toss anything with scratches or other signs of damage.

According to NASA , it is not safe to look at the sun through any optical device while using paper glasses or viewers. To watch the eclipse through cameras, binoculars or telescopes, buy a special solar filter.

The only time you can view a solar eclipse with the naked eye is during the moments of totality. Once the moon begins to reveal the surface of the sun again, return to watching the event through protective equipment to avoid injury.

What happens if I look at the eclipse without protection?

In general, staring directly at the sun, even for a few seconds, can cause permanent damage to your eyes . This can range from blurry or distorted vision to something even more serious, like blind spots. Because there are no pain receptors in the retina, you won’t feel it while it’s happening.

The same is true during an eclipse — except during the brief moments of totality, when the moon has hidden the face of the sun. At all other times, use protective eye equipment to view the event.

What do I do if I can’t find eclipse glasses?

If it’s too late to get glasses or viewers, there’s always a do-it-yourself option: a pinhole camera to indirectly experience the eclipse. You can create one using cardstock , a cardboard box , a kitchen strainer or even your fingers . These designs project an image of the eclipse onto the ground or some other surface that is safe to look at.

Where are the best places to watch the eclipse?

The total eclipse will sweep across large portions of Mexico, the United States and eastern Canada. For the most dramatic show, it’s best to experience the eclipse along the path of totality , which is where the moon will completely blot out the sun.

The Path of the Eclipse

On April 8, a total solar eclipse will cross North America from Mazatlán, Mexico, to the Newfoundland coast near Gander, Canada. Viewers outside the path of the total eclipse will see a partial eclipse, if the sky is clear .

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Percentage of

the sun obscured

during the eclipse

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San Antonio

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Viewers near Mazatlán, a beach town on the Pacific shoreline of Mexico, will be the first place to experience totality on North America’s mainland. Various sites in Mexico along the eclipse’s path will experience the longest duration of totality — as long as four minutes and 29 seconds.

Cities across the United States, including Dallas, Indianapolis and Cleveland, will most likely be hot spots for the upcoming eclipse. Other notable locations include Carbondale, Ill., which also saw totality during the solar eclipse in 2017; small towns west of Austin, Texas, which are projected to have some of the best weather in the country along the eclipse path; and Niagara Falls, if the skies are clear. Six provinces of Canada are in the path of totality, but many of them have a very cloudy outlook.

When does the eclipse begin and end?

The show begins at dawn, thousands of miles southwest of the Pacific shore of Mexico. The moon starts to conceal the sun near Mazatlán at 9:51 a.m. local time. Viewers near Mazatlán will experience totality at 11:07 a.m. for four minutes and 20 seconds.

Then the moon’s shadow will swoop through Mexico, crossing over the Texas border at 1:10 p.m. Eastern time. Totality in the United States will start at 2:27 p.m. and end at 3:33 p.m. Eastern time.

Canadians will experience the solar eclipse in the afternoon for nearly three hours. The eclipse concludes beyond Canada’s boundaries when the sun sets over the Atlantic Ocean.

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What time is the eclipse in New York, Texas, Illinois, Mexico, Canada and other locations?

If you’d like to look up when the eclipse starts, reaches its peak under totality and then ends, you can visit The Times’s interactive map , which will also give you the weather outlook for April 8 along the event’s path.

Below are the times in selected locations when the eclipse will begin totality.

How long will the eclipse last?

The duration of totality depends on how far a given location on Earth is from the moon. Places with the longest totality are closest to the moon and farther from the sun. The speed of the lunar shadow is slowest over spots with the longest totality.

In April, the longest period of totality will occur over Durango, a state in Mexico, for a total of four minutes and 29 seconds. Along the centerline, the location of shortest totality on land is on the eastern coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, for about two minutes and 54 seconds. But totality is even shorter along the edges of the total eclipse path; in some places, it lasts less than a minute.

How fast does the eclipse move?

Solar eclipses may seem to happen slowly, but the moon’s shadow is racing across the surface of Earth. Exact speeds vary by location. Eclipse calculators estimate the shadow will move between about 1,560 m.p.h. and 1,600 m.p.h. through Mexico, and more than 3,000 m.p.h. by the time it exits the United States. The eclipse will reach speeds exceeding 6,000 m.p.h. over the Atlantic Ocean.

When was the last total solar eclipse in the United States?

According to the American Astronomical Society , total solar eclipses happen once every year or so, but they can only be viewed along a narrow path on Earth’s surface. Many occur over water or other places that can be difficult to reach. A given location will experience totality once in about 400 years.

But some places get lucky: Carbondale, a college town in southern Illinois, saw the total solar eclipse in the United States on Aug. 21, 2017, and will experience another one this April. San Antonio experienced an annular eclipse last October, and is also in the path of totality for this year’s eclipse.

Do other planets experience solar eclipses?

Yes, any planet in our solar system with a moon can experience a solar eclipse. In February, a Martian rover captured Phobos , one of the red planet’s moons, transiting the sun.

The moons on other planets, though, appear either smaller or larger than the sun in the sky . Only Earth has a moon just the right size and at just the right distance to produce the unique effects of totality.

How will things on Earth change during the eclipse?

As the eclipse approaches its maximum phase, the air will get cooler, the sky will grow dimmer, shadows will sharpen and you might notice images of crescents — tiny projections of the eclipse — within them. Along the path of totality, the world will go dark while the moon inches toward perfect alignment with Earth and the sun.

Animals will also react to the solar eclipse. Bees stop buzzing , birds stop whistling and crickets begin chirping. Some pets may express confusion . Even plants are affected, scientists found after the solar eclipse in 2017 . They have diminished rates of photosynthesis and water loss similar to, though not as extreme as, what happens at night.

What’s the difference between experiencing a solar eclipse at 99 percent compared with a total eclipse?

Patricia Reiff, a physicist at Rice University who has traveled for 25 eclipses and counting, says that if you are in a place where you’d see a 99 percent partial eclipse, it’s worth safely traveling a little farther to experience a total eclipse.

“Ninety-nine percent is cool,” she said, but “totality is oh-my-God crazy.”

Even at 99 percent eclipse, the sky won’t darken — you won’t be able to see stars or planets. Changes in the temperature, wind and shadows won’t be as dramatic. And the moon won’t block out enough light for you to witness the sun’s corona.

What if I can’t get to the path of totality?

Viewers in locations away from the eclipse path will see the moon partially blot out the sun, though how perceptible the effects are depends on the site’s distance from the centerline. (The closer you are, the more remarkable it will be.) Still, it won’t be quite like experiencing the eclipse during totality.

Remember that you should always wear protective eye equipment while watching a partial eclipse.

If you can’t make it to the path of totality but still want to experience it, many organizations are providing live video streams of the eclipse, including NASA and Time and Date . The Exploratorium, a museum in San Francisco, will also offer a sonification of the eclipse and a broadcast in Spanish.

When is the next total solar eclipse?

If you’re willing to travel, the next total solar eclipse is on Aug. 12, 2026. People in parts of Greenland, Iceland, Portugal and Spain will experience the event.

But if you want to see an eclipse in the United States, you’ll have to wait a long time. While a total eclipse will graze parts of Alaska in 2033, the next one to reach the lower 48 states is on Aug. 22, 2044. That event crosses parts of Canada and ends in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.

For those willing to wait until 2045, the eclipse of Aug. 12 that year will start in California and travel east, exiting the country in Florida.

What have we learned from solar eclipses?

In the 1800s, a French astronomer discovered the element helium by studying the spectrum of sunlight emitted during an eclipse. These events also allowed the first scientific observations of coronal mass ejections — violent expulsions of plasma from the sun’s corona — which can cause power outages and communication disruptions on Earth. Scientists also confirmed Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which says that massive objects bend the fabric of space-time, during a solar eclipse in 1919.

And there is more to discover. This April, NASA plans to fly instruments on planes to capture images of the solar corona, and launch rockets to study how the drop in sunlight during an eclipse affects Earth’s atmosphere. A radio telescope in California will try to use the moon as a shield to measure emissions from individual sunspots .

The public is joining the fun, too. During the eclipse, a team of ham radio operators will beam signals across the country to study how solar disturbances can affect communications. Some people along the path of totality will record sounds from wildlife . Others will use their phones to snap pictures of the eclipse to help sketch out the shape of the solar disk .

An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to eclipse on other worlds. Some appear larger than the sun in sky, they are not all partial eclipses.

How we handle corrections

Katrina Miller is a science reporting fellow for The Times. She recently earned her Ph.D. in particle physics from the University of Chicago. More about Katrina Miller

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    CAUSES OF LOSS - SPECIAL FORM Words and phrases that appear in quotation marks have special meaning. Refer to Section G. Definitions. A. Covered Causes Of Loss When Special is shown in the Declarations, Covered Causes of Loss means direct physical loss unless the loss is excluded or limited in this policy. B. Exclusions 1.

  4. Basic, Broad, and Special Form Insurance Coverage

    Special Form coverage, also known as all-risk or open-peril coverage, offers the highest level of protection out of the three causes of loss forms. Unlike Basic and Broad Form coverage, which specify the covered perils, Special Form coverage adopts a broader strategy by including coverage for all risks except those explicitly excluded in the form.

  5. PDF Causes of Loss

    Delay, loss of use, or loss of market. c.Smoke, vapor, or gas from agricultural smudging or industrial operations. d.(1)Wear and tear; (2)Rust, corrosion, fungus, decay, deterioration, hidden or latent defect or any quality in property that causes it to damage or destroy itself; (3)Smog;

  6. What is Basic form, Broad form, and Special form?

    July 10, 2019. Basic, Broad, and Special form are three common coverage forms when insuring property. Basic form is the most restrictive, while Special offers the greater level of protection. Basic form covers these 11 "perils" or causes of loss: Fire or Lightning, Smoke, Windstorm or Hail, Explosion, Riot or Civil Commotion, Aircraft ...

  7. PDF CAUSES OF LOSS SPECIAL FORM

    CAUSES OF LOSS - SPECIAL FORM Words and phrases that appear in quotation marks have special meaning. Refer to Section G. Definitions. A. Covered Causes Of Loss When Special is shown in the Declarations, Covered Causes of Loss means direct physical loss unless the loss is excluded or limited in this policy. B. Exclusions 1.

  8. Part VIII: Special Causes of Loss Form

    The Special Causes of Loss form is just that, special. It provides coverage for risks of direct physical loss unless, of course, they are excluded or limited. Unlike the Basic and Broad forms, which only cover what's listed, the Special form covers everything except what's listed in the called-out exclusions, limitations, and conditions.

  9. Coverage Insights

    A causes of loss form is used to establish and define the particular types of perils covered in an insured's commercial property policy. There are three causes of loss forms policyholders can choose from for their commercial property coverage: basic, broad and special. This article explains the differences between basic, broad and special ...

  10. What's New in the 2000 Edition ISO Commercial Property Forms: CP ...

    Under the special causes of loss form, this new definition applies only to collapse from hidden decay, insect, or vermin damage of which the insured had no knowledge prior to the collapse and collapse from faulty materials or workmanship during construction or renovation. Under the broad causes of loss form, the new collapse definition also ...

  11. Causes-of-Loss Forms

    Causes-of-loss special form. The difference among these forms is the perils ­covered. The basic and broad forms provide named-perils coverage. The special form provides open perils coverage and insures against direct physical loss to covered property. 6. Causes-of-Loss Basic Form.

  12. Commercial Property Revised Causes of Loss

    The wear and tear exclusion under the current Causes of Loss - Special Form provides that the wear and tear must be from a "specified cause of loss" to be covered, and the definition for ...

  13. What is the Special Causes of Loss form?

    The Special Causes of Loss form differs from the Basic and Broad forms. The Basic and Broad forms cover only what's listed on the form. The Special form covers risks of all kinds of direct physical loss except for those listed in the called-out exclusions, limitations and conditions. Learn more about Special Causes of Loss and the Special ...

  14. The Difference Between Basic, Broad and Special Form Insurance

    The greatest difference is that in a Special Form insurance policy, all perils are covered apart from what is listen in the exclusions section. So essentially, a Special Form insurance policy is read opposite of a Basic or Broad Form insurance policy. Anything that is unlisted is covered, anything listed in the exclusions section is excluded.

  15. Commercial Property Revised Causes of Loss

    Special Causes of Loss Revision. The wear and tear exclusion under the current Causes of Loss - Special Form provides that the wear and tear must be from a "specified cause of loss" to be covered, and the definition for "specified cause of loss" includes within it, "accidental discharge or leakage of water or waterborne material as the direct result of the breaking apart or ...

  16. Part VI: Basic Causes of Loss

    Both class-rated and specifically-rated properties are eligible for Basic Causes of Loss coverage, which covers 11 perils, or causes of loss. The Basic Causes of Loss form provides complete descriptions of each peril. These perils are the only causes of loss for which a claim will be paid under a Basic form policy, and they're divided into ...

  17. Special Cause of Loss: When Does the Water Exclusion Apply?

    A burst city waterline causes water to flood into a building's basement. The water then proceeds into the common area of a mall, which is insured under a proprietary Special Cause of Loss form with replacement cost. Q: The carrier denies coverage based on the water exclusion. Is that correct?

  18. Standard Special Form Exclusions • Insurance for RE Investors

    Special Form coverage protects the property against any source of loss that is not specifically excluded. Learn the exclusions here. In general, insurance provides for many sudden, unforeseen, unintended, and unplanned events. Special Form coverage protects property against any source of loss that is not specifically excluded.

  19. Causes of Loss Forms

    The special causes of loss form thus conforms to the basic and broad forms, which provide coverage for sprinkler leakage as a basic cause of loss. On those forms, the sprinkler system will be repaired under the same circumstances as in the special form—if the sprinkler discharges its fire protection substance or if the loss is directly caused ...

  20. Why Flood Should be a Covered Cause of Loss in Property Insurance

    If you were to look at the ISO HO 00 03 05 11 Homeowners 3 - Special Form, or the ISO CP 10 30 09 17 Causes of Loss - Special Form, you would see this exclusion. (This isn't all of it, and ...

  21. Commercial Property (CP) Causes of Loss: Special Form

    Causes of Loss: Broad Form. Causes of Loss: Special Form. Texas Amendatory Endorsement CP 01 42 03 12. Independent Insurance Agents of Texas. 1115 San Jacinto Blvd, Suite 100.

  22. PDF Commercial Property Cp 10 20 10 12 Causes of Loss

    CAUSES OF LOSS - BROAD FORM Words and phrases that appear in quotation marks have special meaning. Refer to Section F. Definitions. A. Covered Causes Of Loss When Broad is shown in the Declarations, Covered Causes of Loss means the following: 1. Fire. 2. Lightning. 3. Explosion, including the explosion of gases or

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