When I first came to the staff of The FC&S Bulletins, I was introduced to a number of insurance contract (policy) interpretative principles that underlie the basis of situational analysis for us here. Things such as, "Policy coverage agreements are broadly construed and policy exclusions are narrowly construed," and, "An ambiguity that can be read into the policy will be resolved in favor of the insured." And ejusdem generis — a favorite of former FC&S editor Eugene Wolters (my old boss) — that said (from the hoary and revered Black's Law Dictionary Special Deluxe Fifth Edition), "of the same kind, class, or nature."

What this means is that, in construction of "laws, wills, and other instruments" (such as insurance policies), the ejusdem generis rule dictates, "Where general words follow an enumeration of … things by words of a particular and specific meaning, such general words are not to be construed in their widest extent, but are to be held as applying only to … things of the same general kind of class as those specifically mentioned."

So what? Well, it means that bat guano (even called waste) damage in a homeowner's attic cannot be denied insurance recovery under the homeowner pollution exclusion, in which pollutants specifically are defined to include "any … chemicals and waste."

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