A squirrel climb onto an electric transformer outside the West Liberty power plant in 2014 and contacted a cable clamp energized with 7,200 volts of electricity. That created an arc of electricity that fried the squirrel and caused around $214,000 in damage to electrical equipment. The city asked for insurance coverage, saying the squirrel caused the damage.
EMC Insurance denied the claim based on an exclusion in the policy for “loss caused by arcing or by electrical currents other than lightning.”
The Iowa Supreme Court agreed with the district court ruling that the squirrel by itself did not cause any damage — it was caused by the arcing tied to the squirrell. The court says electrical arcing is always going to have some cause — and the policy does not cover damage by electrical arcing.
Here’s the ruling: Electric-Squirrel-ruling-PDF