The Fourth Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the “deterioration” exclusion in the property insurance policy applied to a bulging wall, precluding coverage:
Defendant met its initial burden on its motion by establishing as a matter of law that plaintiff’s loss is not covered under the policy because it resulted from “deterioration,” which condition was specifically excluded from coverage, and plaintiff failed to raise an issue of fact in opposition … . Unambiguous policy provisions are to be given their plain and ordinary meaning … , and the plain meaning of the exclusion in question “was to relieve the insurer of liability when its insured sought reimbursement for costs incurred in correcting . . . deterioration of the subject [premises]” … . Here, both defendant’s expert and plaintiff’s expert opined that the wall bulged due to deterioration of the bricks from exposure to moisture and freeze-thaw cycles. The only difference was that defendant’s expert opined that the wall had been deteriorating over an extended period of time, whereas plaintiff’s expert opined that the deterioration occurred over two months. Either way, the damage was the result of deterioration, and thus the policy exclusion applies and defendant is entitled to summary judgment … . S & J Props. of Watertown, LLC v Main St. Am. Group, 2022 NY Slip Op 03837, Fourth Dept 6-9-22
Practice Point: Here the bulging wall was caused by the deterioration of bricks. The “deterioration” exclusion in the policy applied and precluded coverage.