Appeal from the Order in the Court of Common Pleas, Civil, of Philadelphia County, at No. 5512 Sept. Term, 1984.
Roger J. Harrington, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Margaret A. Wurzer, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Montemuro, Kelly and Cercone, JJ.
[ 366 Pa. Super. Page 591]
Appellant Joanne DiFabio challenges the entry of summary judgment in favor of appellee Centaur Insurance Company. We agree with Ms. DiFabio that the terms of the "special multi-peril" policy of insurance issued to her by Centaur obligate Centaur to cover the loss here in question. We therefore reverse the order of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas and remand for the entry of partial summary judgment in favor of Ms. DiFabio.
Neither party disputes the material facts. Ms. DiFabio owns a laundromat in Croydon, Bucks County. In January of 1983, she obtained from Centaur Insurance Company a "special multi-peril" insurance policy to cover various risks
[ 366 Pa. Super. Page 592]
of loss to the premises where the laundromat is located. Centaur agreed in part to insure the premises against "all direct loss" caused by "WINDSTORM OR HAIL, excluding loss caused directly or indirectly by frost or cold weather. . . whether driven by wind or not." Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment, exhibit "A" at 2 (emphasis added). The Company added that it would not cover "loss to the interior of the building(s) or the property covered therein caused . . . by water from sprinkler equipment or from other piping unless such equipment or piping be damaged as a direct result of wind or hail." Id. (emphasis added).*fn1 In December of 1983, during the coverage period of the multi-peril policy, high winds blew the back doors off Ms. DiFabio's laundromat. As a result, water pipes inside the laundromat froze and burst. Although Centaur paid Ms. DiFabio for the loss of the doors, it has refused to pay for any damage to the interior of building. Ms. DiFabio therefore filed this action against Centaur to recover the withheld amounts.
On December 31, 1985, Ms. DiFabio filed a motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of liability. Centaur responded with an answer and a cross-motion for summary judgment. By order filed April 29, 1986, the
[ 366 Pa. Super. Page 593]
court entered summary judgment in favor of Centaur and dismissed Ms. DiFabio's action with prejudice. This timely appeal followed.
The sole issue presented by Ms. DiFabio is whether the multi-peril policy obligates Centaur to cover the damage to the interior of the laundromat. Centaur maintains that its policy clearly excludes coverage of losses "caused directly or indirectly by frost or cold weather" and that this exclusion applies to the water-damaged interior. Ms. DiFabio, however, contends that the policy just as clearly covers losses caused by "water from sprinkler equipment or from other piping" when the equipment or piping is "damaged as a direct result of wind." Ms. DiFabio further contends ...