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The definition of war exclusion under insurance law

On Behalf of McNabb, Bragorgos, Burgess & Sorin, PLLC | Apr 14, 2022 | Insurance Law

A war exclusion prevents a person from receiving insurance coverage for damages related to wars or warlike activities. In 2022, the recent war in Ukraine has incited new discussions about this exclusion. From then on, Tennessee courts must figure out how to interpret the war exclusion for insurance policyholders who file for coverage.

What this exclusion means
The war exclusion is traditionally interpreted to apply to violent acts of war between different states or nations. The court must analyze the circumstances under which the acts occurred and decide whether or not to apply the exclusionary rule. Under insurance law, the main factors that the court considers are the use of military weapons and uniforms during the act, a declaration of war from a government official and the awarding of medals for heroic acts. According to the court’s decision, one or more of these factors can be chosen to apply the exclusionary rule.

The future meaning of exclusions
The war in Ukraine is rapidly developing and changing every day. Few insurance providers can predict the full extent and intensity of the conflict yet. In the meantime, the courts have to analyze several factors to decide if the war exclusion applies to a specific claim.

How the rule applies in modern times
The rarely used war exclusion in life insurance and property insurance policies is almost never a topic of discussion. The recent war between Russia and Ukraine has brought up the significance of this exclusionary rule. Today, the war exclusion is relevant as the family members of victims killed in warlike conditions and the owners of damaged properties try to obtain coverage.