McGair v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., No. 11-2179 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs purchased a flood insurance policy from Appellee, American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida. Their policy was issued pursuant to a federal program under which private insurers issue and administer standardized flood insurance policies (WYO companies), and all claims are paid by the government. After a flood damaged their home in Rhode Island, including the contents of their basement, Plaintiffs sought compensation. American Bankers disallowed much of the amount claimed, asserting that the contents of Plaintiffs' basement were not covered by their policy. Plaintiffs subsequently brought suit in federal court, arguing that the Declarations Page of their policy created an ambiguity as to the scope of coverage and that, under federal common law and general insurance law principles, this ambiguity should be resolved in their favor. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of American Bankers. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that Plaintiffs' claim was not remotely a claim on which a WYO company may be required to pay damages.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on September 20, 2012.