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Virginia Court Dismisses RICO Claim Against WYO Flood Insurer and Its Adjusters

The preemptive effect of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on overlapping claims asserted by policyholders based on federal and state common law theories of liability is well established. “Numerous courts have held that claims other than those expressly authorized by the [National Flood Insurance Act (NFIA)] are preempted.” Slay’s Restoration, LLC v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, Civil Action No. 4:15cv140 (E.D. Va. Jan. 3, 2017). In other words, if additional sums are allegedly owed under a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP), “the precisely drawn and detailed statutory and regulatory system in place under the NFIA and the SFIP provides the exclusive remedy.” Typically, the preemptive impact of the NFIP has been applied to preclude state court actions or

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Posted in Flood Insurance

Can Disputes Related To Procurement Of Federal Flood Insurance Policies Be Litigated In State Court?

It is well-established that claim processing and wrongful denial of coverage disputes involving federal flood insurance policies belong in federal court because they present substantial questions of federal law. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina recently applied this rule when it denied the insureds’ motion to remand a case to state court in Henderson v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company, 3:16-CV-419, 2016 WL 5415290 (W.D.N.C. Sept. 27, 2016). The Henderson Court, however, left open the question of whether disputes solely arising out the “procurement” of federal flood insurance policies likewise involve substantial questions of federal law or are matters of state law that can properly be determined by state courts. This is an issue on

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Posted in Flood Insurance

The House and Senate Vote to Roll Back National Flood Insurance Program Premium Increases

Congress has officially placed the bipartisan Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act in hands of President Obama.  If enacted, it will undo significant provisions of a 2012 law that caused sharp flood insurance rate increases. On March 4, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 306-91 to pass the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, H.R. 3370.  This repeals portions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act.  Just yesterday, March 16, the U.S. Senate voted 72-22 to approve the bill and send it to the President for his consideration. For those who don’t remember the Biggert-Waters Act, it was passed back in 2012 with overwhelming support in both houses of Congress.  It called for changes to the National Flood Insurance Program. 

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Posted in Flood, Flood Insurance
About The Property Insurance Law Observer
For more than four decades, Cozen O’Connor has represented all types of property insurers in jurisdictions throughout the United States, and it is dedicated to keeping its clients abreast of developments that impact the insurance industry. The Property Insurance Law Observer will survey court decisions, enacted or proposed legislation, and regulatory activities from all 50 states. We will also include commentary on current issues and developing trends of interest to first-party insurers.
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