It has been more than two years since Hurricane Katrina’s violent winds and water left in its wake the damaged and destroyed homes of tens of thousands of Gulf Coast residents. Yet who is ultimately responsible for paying Katrina’s damages is in large part still undetermined, and the “wind vs. water” debate rages on.

Although the wind vs. water coverage issue is nothing new, Katrina’s unprecedented magnitude has brought it to the forefront of the insurance industry like never before. Many of the numerous lawsuits filed by policyholders who were denied coverage by their homeowners’ insurers focused on whether property damage from Katrina was caused by wind or objects propelled by wind — both of which are covered under the standard property insurance policy — or by water or flood, which is excluded.

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