Ark Encounter sues insurance company for refusing to cover $1 million in heavy rain damage

Ark Encounter
The Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky bathed in sunset colors. |

The Young Earth creationism museum Ark Encounter in Kentucky filed a lawsuit against an insurance company for refusing to cover $1 million in repairs that were needed following damage caused by heavy rainfall.

Filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Northern Division at Covington, the suit is leveled against the Allied World Assurance Company.

According to the suit, Allied World refused to cover the $1 million cost in road repairs that had to be done in response to about two years of heavy rainfall that damaged the Ark Encounter property.

“Defendants continue to contend that Plaintiffs’ loss is not covered because the physical damage was caused by faulty design or workmanship, even though the Defendants have already conceded that the policy language provides coverage for damage resulting from faulty design or workmanship,” stated the lawsuit in part.

“By refusing to pay all but a very small proportion of Plaintiffs’ covered claim, the Defendants have failed to meet their Policy obligations and failed to handle Plaintiffs’ claim properly and in good faith, causing Plaintiffs to incur significant additional loss and expense.”

The lawsuit specifically accuses Allied World of breach of contract, acting in bad faith, and being in violation of the Kentucky Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act.

Ark Encounter claims that Allied World violated the Act by, among other things, “misrepresenting pertinent insurance policy provisions relating to the coverages at issue,” “refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation based upon all available information,” “compelling Plaintiffs to institute litigation to recover the amounts due under the policy,” and “failing to settle a claim within 30 days without reasonable foundation for doing so.”

“As a direct and proximate cause of Defendants’ violations of the Kentucky Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, Plaintiffs have and will continue to suffer substantial damages, in an amount believed to be in excess of $1,000,000,” continued the suit.

“At all times relevant hereto, Defendants acted with oppression, fraud, and malice toward the Plaintiffs, entitling Plaintiffs to an award of punitive damages.”

The Ark Encounter was opened in July 2016, a project of the Young Earth creationism apologetics group Answers in Genesis that features a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark, as described in the Bible book of Genesis.

Initially, news sources including The Associated Press reported that the replica of Noah’s Ark at the Ark Encounter site had been damaged by flooding.

However, the AP issued a correction on May 25 saying they "reported erroneously that flooding caused the damage. The damage was caused by heavy rains over a period of two years."

Answers in Genesis also released a statement last Friday clarifying that the museum’s Ark was unharmed by the rains.

“The Ark itself does not sit next to the damaged areas. The Ark was built on bedrock and was never in jeopardy,” the group stated.

“We are highly confident of the merits of our case as we seek a fair resolution with the insurance companies.”

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