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University of Washington School of Law

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Notpetya, Not Warfare: Rethinking The Insurance War Exclusion In The Context Of International Cyberattacks, Katherine S. Wan Oct 2020

Notpetya, Not Warfare: Rethinking The Insurance War Exclusion In The Context Of International Cyberattacks, Katherine S. Wan

Washington Law Review

When an insurer wants to avoid coverage of a specific type of loss, it must explicitly exclude the loss in its policy. The war exclusion is a typical exclusion found in insurance policies that excuses insurers from covering losses caused by war or warlike actions. Courts interpreting the exclusion have traditionally held that war must consist of hostilities between sovereign nations. Despite the rise of state-sponsored cyberattacks, the United States has been hesitant to officially declare war in response. Even still, insurers argue that their war exclusions should apply to these new cyber losses. Courts are now tasked with reanalyzing …