United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
D. PETERSON DISTRICT JUDGE.
Donn Bergquist brings this lawsuit against his insurer,
defendant Auto-Owners Insurance Company, seeking coverage for
water damage to his property. Dkt. 1. Auto-Owners denied
coverage, and Bergquist has moved for partial summary
judgment, asking the court to declare that his policy covers
the damage under an endorsement for “Equipment
Breakdown.” Dkt. 12. He also asks the court to compel
an appraisal of his property to determine the scope of his
loss. Dkt. 13. The court concludes that Bergquist is not
entitled to coverage under the Equipment Breakdown
endorsement, so the court will deny Bergquist's motion
for partial summary judgment on the merits, and it will deny
his request for an appraisal as moot.
opposition to Bergquist's motion, Auto-Owners asks for
summary judgment in its favor on the grounds that the policy
provides no coverage for Bergquist's loss. Bergquist
relied exclusively on the Equipment Breakdown endorsement, so
it appears at this point that Auto-Owners may be right. The
court will order Bergquist to identify any other provision of
his policy that provides coverage for the damage to his
following facts are undisputed.
insured a commercial property owned by Bergquist that
sustained extensive water damage in 2018. Bergquist filed a
claim with Auto-Owners, who hired an engineer to investigate
the claim. The engineer determined that the damage was caused
by a degraded underground pipe that ruptured. Dkt. 19-2.
Auto-Owners denied Bergquist's claim in a letter, citing
an exclusion for “damage caused by water under the
ground surface that flows through floors, doors or
windows.” Dkt. 30-1. Auto-Owners said that its letter
was not “an exhaustive statement” of its position
regarding coverage under the policy. Id.
contends that his loss is covered under the endorsement for
“Equipment Breakdown.” Dkt. 22-3 at
50-56. The endorsement says that Auto-Owners will
pay for Equipment Breakdown subject to the policy limits.
Section 1.a. Equipment Breakdown is defined in section 3.b.
"Equipment Breakdown" means:
(1) Physical loss or damage both originating within:
(a) Boilers, fired or unfired pressure vessels, vacuum
vessels, and pressure piping, all normally subject to vacuum
or internal pressure other than static pressure of contents,
1) waste disposal piping;
2) any piping forming part of a fire protective system;
3) furnaces; and
4) any water piping other than:
a) boiler feed water piping between the feed pump and the