The Clarion-Ledger, 8/31/7

A federal appeals court sided with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. on Thursday in a landmark Hurricane Katrina case.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that language in the insurer’s storm policy that was used to deny coverage is not “ambiguous.”

“The reason the term ambiguous is important in insurance matters is because ambiguity in insurance contracts is almost universally decided in favor of the policyholder,” said Robert Hartwig, vice president and chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute in New York. “But what the panel is saying here is that it is not ambiguous, that it is quite clear.”