Owners of Noah's ark replica sue insurance company over rain damage

Owners of Noah's ark replica sue insurance company over rain damage

The Ark Encounter opened in northern Kentucky in July 2016.

In the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark survived a flood in the Middle East. A replica of the biblical boat was not as lucky, and its owners are suing -- for damages caused by heavy rains in northern Kentucky.

The owners of Ark Encounter are suing their five insurance carriers for refusing to cover nearly $1 million in damages after flooding in 2017 and 2018 caused a landslide on its access road, the Louisville Courier Journal reported.

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In a 77-page lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Kentucky, Crosswater Canyon Inc. and the Ark Encounter sued the business' insurance underwriters, WLWT reported. The ark's owners are seeking compensatory and punitive damages, the Courier Journal reported.

The ark, located in Williamstown, was not damaged.

According to the lawsuit, "A significant landslide occurred along portions of the slope,” which caused “significant damage” to the road surface, making portions of the road “unsafe and unfit for use.”

The road was fixed by engineers at a cost of $1 million, WLEX reported. But when the Ark Encounter asked its insurance underwriters to cover the cost of repairs, they were rebuffed, the television station reported.

The Allied World Assurance Co. is named as a defendant, along with three other carriers, according to The Washington Post.

Initially, the suit alleges, defendants cited faulty craftsmanship as the reason for the property damage and claimed they were not liable, WLEX reported. After an appeal, the defendants admitted that only a small amount was covered by the policy.

The Ark Encounter, built at a cost of $120 million, opened in July 2016 with a zoo, zip lines and a restaurant in addition to the five-story replica of the ark, the Post reported. It was founded by Ken Ham and his ministry, Answers in Genesis, the newspaper reported.

Ark Encounter spokeswoman Melany Ethridge distributed a statement that said “the lawsuit speaks for itself,” noting the park remained open.

"You got to get to the boat to be on the boat," Ethridge told the Courier Journal.