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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 14. Insurance
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission, Bureau of Insurance
Chapter 341. Rules Governing Standards for the Content of Dwelling Property Insurance Policies
6/14/2024

14VAC5-341-60. Causes of loss.

A. Insurers shall provide, at a minimum, the basic causes of loss in subsection B of this section. If an insurer provides expanded causes of loss, the causes of loss may be no less favorable than the causes of loss in subsections B and C of this section. If an insurer provides open causes of loss, the causes of loss may be no less favorable than the causes of loss in subsection D of this section. The same causes of loss shall apply to the dwelling and other structures. Insurers may offer basic, expanded, or open causes of loss for household and personal property.

B. When providing basic causes of loss, insurers shall provide coverage for direct loss caused by the following:

1. Fire or lightning.

2. Windstorm or hail. Insurers may exclude loss to:

a. The interior of the dwelling or other structure or the household and personal property within caused by rain, snow, sand, or dust unless the rain, snow, sand, or dust enters through an opening caused by the force of wind or hail;

b. Windmills, wind pumps, or towers; crop silos or contents; or metal smokestacks;

c. Grain, hay, straw, or other crops, when outside;

d. Overhead structures, including supports and screening, constructed principally of cloth, metal, fiberglass, or plastic erected to provide protection from the elements;

e. Signs;

f. Satellite dishes; radio or television antennas, including lead-in wiring, masts, or towers;

g. Fences; seawalls or property line and other free-standing walls;

h. Greenhouses, hothouses, slathouses, trellises, pergolas, cabanas, or outdoor equipment pertaining to the service of the residence premises;

i. Wharves, docks, piers, boathouses, bulkheads, or other structures located over or partially over water and the household and personal property on or within;

j. Property damaged by water from sprinklered equipment or from other piping, unless the equipment or piping was damaged as a direct result of wind or hail; or

k. Watercraft while not inside a fully enclosed building. This provision does not apply to rowboats or canoes.

3. Explosion.

4. Riot or civil commotion.

5. Aircraft.

6. Vehicles.

7. Sudden or accidental damage from smoke or soot, other than smoke from agricultural smudging or industrial operations.

C. Insurers may offer the following expanded causes of loss. If provided, coverage shall be for direct loss to the covered property from the causes of loss listed in subsection B of this section and the following causes of loss:

1. Vandalism, malicious mischief, and burglary. Insurers may exclude loss if the dwelling was vacant. If a covered cause of loss ensues, insurers shall provide coverage for the ensuing loss.

2. Falling objects. Insurers may exclude loss to:

a. Property within the dwelling or other structure that is caused by a falling object unless the falling object first damages the exterior of the roof or walls of the dwelling or other structure; or

b. The falling object itself.

3. Weight of ice, snow, or sleet that damages the (i) dwelling, (ii) other structure, or (iii) household and personal property contained in a dwelling or other structure if the weight of ice, snow, or sleet first damages the dwelling or other structure. Insurers may exclude loss to:

a. Awnings and their supports; or

b. Fences, pavements, patios, swimming pools, foundations, retaining walls, bulkheads, piers, wharves, or docks.

4. Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging of a steam or hot water heating system, or of an appliance for heating water, but excluding loss caused by or resulting from freezing.

5. Freezing of plumbing, heating, or air conditioning systems, and domestic appliances. Insurers may exclude loss caused by or resulting from freezing while a dwelling is under construction, vacant, or unoccupied for a period in excess of four consecutive days unless the insured has (i) exercised due diligence in maintaining heat in the dwelling or other structure or (ii) drained the systems and appliances and shut off the water supply.

6. Accidental discharge, leakage, or overflow of water or steam from within a plumbing, heating, or air conditioning system, or domestic appliance. This does not include loss caused by or resulting from freezing.

7. Sudden and accidental injury from electrical currents artificially generated to electrical appliances, devices, fixtures, and wiring.

D. Insurers may offer open causes of loss. If provided, insurers shall provide coverage for direct loss to the dwelling and other structures and may exclude direct loss caused by any of the following:

1. Wear and tear; marring or scratching; deterioration; inherent vice; latent defect; mechanical breakdown; rust, mold, or wet or dry rot; pollutants, smog, smoke from agricultural smudging or industrial operations; settling, cracking, shrinkage, bulging, or expansion of pavements, patios, foundations, walls, floors, roofs, or ceilings; or birds, vermin, rodents, insects, or animals owned or kept by an insured. If a covered cause of loss ensues, insurers shall provide coverage for the ensuing loss.

2. Vandalism and malicious mischief, burglary, or glass breakage if the dwelling was vacant. If a covered cause of loss ensues, insurers shall provide coverage for the ensuing loss.

3. Continuous or repeated seepage or leakage of water or steam from within a plumbing, heating, or air conditioning system or domestic appliance over a period of weeks, months, or years. This exclusion does not apply to household and personal property.

4. Windstorm, hail, ice, snow, or sleet to any of the following property:

a. Overhead structures, including supports and screening, constructed principally of cloth, metal, fiberglass, or plastic, erected to provide protection from the elements;

b. Outdoor radio or television antennas including the lead-in wiring, masts, or towers;

c. Fences;

d. Seawalls or property line and other free-standing walls;

e. Greenhouses, hothouses, slathouses, trellises, pergolas, or cabanas;

f. Outdoor equipment pertaining to the service of the residence premises; or

g. Wharves, docks, piers, boathouses, bulkheads, or other structures located over or partially over water and the household and personal property on or within.

5. Theft of property that is not an integral part of the dwelling or other structure at the time of loss or from a dwelling or other structure that is under construction.

6. Collapse, except as required by subsection M of 14VAC5-341-40.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13, 38.2-223, and 38.2-2108 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 38, Issue 11, eff. January 1, 2022.

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