XL, Fisker Reach Settlement Over Sandy-Damaged Cars at N.J. Port

February 25, 2013

XL Insurance America Inc. and Fisker Automotive Inc. reached an agreement last week over an insurance dispute involving hundreds of hybrid cars at a New Jersey port that got wrecked by Superstorm Sandy.

“Fisker Automotive and XL Insurance America were able to successfully reach an out-of-court agreement that resolves their coverage dispute with respect to the loss of vehicles at Port Newark during Sandy,” XL spokesperson Christine Weirsky told Insurance Journal.

“The terms of the settlement are confidential. Having put this dispute behind them, Fisker and XL expect to continue their business relationship,” Weirsky said.

Fisker Automotive had been in a legal dispute with XL since last December regarding coverage for the damaged cars. The Anaheim, Calif.-based automaker had lost 338 of its hybrid cars worth more than $30 million, according to court documents. Those cars were unloaded from cargo ships to be delivered to dealerships and were waiting at park facilities at Port Newark when Sandy struck. The cars were submerged in 5 feet of seawater when the storm slammed ashore on Oct. 29, 2012.

The automaker argued that it filed a timely claim to the insurer for its policy but that the claim was denied. One point of dispute was whether these cars were in transit or in storage when the damages occurred, according to reports. According to court documents, XL had argued that some of these vehicles had been at the port facilities from a minimum of 80 days to a maximum or 363 days. XL argued that flood-damaged vehicles were not in transit at the time of loss and that the transit coverage provided under the policy does not apply. XL had also claimed that the vehicles were not located at insured premises as that term is defined under the policy.

The case is Fisker Automotive v. XL Insurance America Inc., No. 654571/2012, N.Y. State Supreme Court, New York County.

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