Pre-Judgment Interest Not Awarded Under Flood Policy

Flooded rivers land

The insured suffered damage from Hurricane Delta.

January 17, 2023
Tred R. Eyerly - Insurance Law Hawaii

The court granted the insurer's motion to dismiss state law and extracontractual claims, including pre-judgment interest. Hurley v. Wright Nat'l Flood Ins. Co., 2022 U.S. Distl. LEXIS 203803 (W.D. La. Nov. 8, 2022).

The insured suffered damage from Hurricane Delta. He filed suit, alleging that Wright National Flood Insurance Company breached the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP). The insured sought damages for state law claims for bad faith, diminution in value, actual repair costs, attorney's fees , litigation costs, and interest. Wright moved to dismiss the extracontractual state law causes of action for bad faith and various claims for damages, other than the damages sought for the alleged breach of the SFIP.

The court explained that the Write-Your-Own (WYO) Program carriers issuing flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) arranged for the adjustment, settlement, payment, and defense of all claims arising from the policy. Congress underwrote all operations of the NIFP, including claims adjustment, through United States Treasury funds. A judgment against a WYO Program carrier constituted a judgment against FEMA, and consequently, a direct charge on the United States Treasury. 

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