United States Third Circuit

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Torre v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, 14-2733

Plaintiffs own land and a house in New Jersey and hold a National Flood Insurance Program Dwelling Form Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) issued by defendant Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company under the National Flood Insurance Act. Plaintiffs' property sustained substantial damage during Hurricane Sandy, and they submitted claim under the SFIP for that damage to defendant. Defendant administered a payment which included the cost of removing debris from the house, but plaintiffs sought additional payment for the cost of removing sand and other debris deposited on their land in front of and behind the house. Defendant denied that additional claim on the ground that the SFIP does not cover it, and plaintiffs filed suit to recover. Summary judgment in defendant's favor is affirmed, where: 1) the SFIP provides coverage for certain structures and other items of property but not for an entire parcel of land, and so the entire parcel thus cannot constitute "insured property" because it is not insured by the SFIP at all; and 2) the provision of the SFIP requiring defendant to pay for the removal of non-owned debris that is "on or in insured property" therefore does not apply to the expenses plaintiffs incurred in removing non-owned debris from their land outside the house.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 03/26/2015
  • Published 03/26/2015

Judges

Court

  • United States Third Circuit

Counsel