Proximate Cause

Insurance law requires the policyholder to show proof that the loss was caused by a peril covered by the policy. For instance, imagine a fire destroyed property in a yard and weakened a surrounding wall. On the next night, a gale blew down the weakened wall. What, then, was the ‘proximate cause’, or the nearest real reason, for the wall’s collapse – the fire or the wind? Here, the proximate cause would be deemed to be the wind, while the fire was only the remote cause.