[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lehigh as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Fire Insurance Claims
[Adopted 10-7-1993 by Ord. No. 1993-4]
The Township Secretary/Treasurer or such official's designee is hereby appointed as the designated officer who is authorized to carry out all responsibilities and duties stated herein.
[Amended 11-11-1997 by Ord. No. 97-5]
No insurance company, association or exchange (hereinafter the "insuring agent") doing business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania shall pay a claim of a named insured for fire damage to a structure located within the Township of Lehigh, Northampton County, Pennsylvania (hereinafter the "Township"), where the amount recoverable for the fire loss to the structure under all policies exceeds $7,500, unless the insuring agent has been previously furnished with a Township certificate by the Township Secretary/Treasurer pursuant to Section 508(b) of the Act and after said insuring agent has fully complied with Section 508(c) and (d) of the Act and with all, but not less than all, the provisions of this article.
[Amended 11-11-1997 by Ord. No. 1997-5]
Pursuant to Section 508 of the Act, as amended, when the Township Secretary/Treasurer issues a certificate and bill showing the amount of delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties or user charges against the property, which shall include any and all delinquencies due the Township Municipal Authority, the Lehigh Township Volunteer Fire Company, Northampton Area School District, Northampton County or any other charges that a public body has against the property, including, but not limited to, sewer and water charges and any and all debts due the Township of Lehigh whether arising directly or indirectly from the casualty or otherwise, the insuring agent shall return the bill to the Secretary/Treasurer and transfer to the Secretary/Treasurer an amount from the insurance proceeds necessary to pay the taxes, assessments, penalties, charges, debts and costs as shown on the bill. The Township shall receive the amount and apply or credit it to payment of the items shown in the bill
Pursuant to Section 508 of the Act, as amended, when the Township Secretary/Treasurer issues a certificate or, at the discretion of the Township Secretary/Treasurer, a verbal notification which shall be confirmed in writing by the insurer, indicating that there are no delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties or user charges against the property, which shall include any and all delinquencies due the Township Municipal Authority, the Lehigh Township Volunteer Fire Company, Northampton Area School District, Northampton County or any other charges that a public body has against the property including, but not limited to, sewer and water charges and any and all debts due the Township of Lehigh whether arising directly or indirectly from the casualty or otherwise, the insuring agent shall pay the claim of the named insured, provided, however, that if the loss agreed upon by the named insured and the insuring agent equals or exceeds 60% of the aggregate limits of liability on all fire policies covering the building restructure, the following procedures must be followed:
The insuring agent shall transfer moneys from the insurance proceeds to the designated officer of the Township of Lehigh in the aggregate of $2,000 for each $15,000 of a claim and for each fraction of that amount of a claim, this section to be applied such that if the claim is $15,000 or less, the amount transferred to the Township shall be $2,000; or
If at the time of a loss report agreed to between the named insured and the insuring agent, the named insured has submitted a contractor's signed estimate of the costs of removing, repairing or securing the building or other structure in an amount less than the amount calculated under the foregoing transfer formula, the insuring agent shall transfer to the Township from the insurance proceeds the amount specified in the estimate.
The transfer of proceeds shall be on a pro rata basis by all companies, associations or exchanges insuring the building or other structure.
After the transfer, the named insured may submit a contractor's signed estimate of the costs of removing, repairing or securing the building or other structure, and the designated officer shall return the amount of the funds transferred to the Township in excess of the estimate to the named insured, if the Township has not commenced to remove, repair or secure the building or other structure.
Upon receipt of proceeds under this section, the Township shall do the following:
The designated officer shall place the proceeds in a separate fund to be used solely as security against the total costs of removing, repairing, or securing the building or structure which are incurred by the Township. Such costs shall include, without limitation, any engineering, legal or administrative costs incurred by the Township in connection with such removal, repair or securing of the building or any proceedings related thereto; and
It is the obligation of the insuring agent when transferring the proceeds to provide the Township with the name and address of the named insured. Upon receipt of the transferred funds and the name and address of the named insured, the designated officer shall contact the named insured, certify that the proceeds have been received by the Township and notify the named insured that the procedures under this subsection shall be followed; and
When repairs, removal or securing of the building or other structure have been completed in accordance with all applicable regulations and orders of the Township and the required proof of such completion received by the designated officer, and if the Township has not incurred any costs for repairs, removal or securing, the fund shall be returned to the named insured. If the Township has incurred costs for repairs, removal or securing of the building or other structure, the costs shall be paid from the fund and if excess funds remain, the Township shall transfer the remaining funds to the named insured; and
To the extent that interest is earned on proceeds held by the Township pursuant to this section, and not returned to the named insured, such interest shall belong to the Township. To the extent that proceeds are returned to the named insured, interest earned on such proceeds shall be distributed to the named insured at the time that the proceeds are returned.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the ability of the Township to recover any deficiency. Furthermore, nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the Township and the named insured from entering into an agreement that permits the transfer of funds to the named insured if some other reasonable disposition of the damaged property has been negotiated.
The Township of Lehigh may by resolution adopt procedures and regulations to implement Act 98 of 1992 and this article, and may by resolution fix reasonable fees to be charged for municipal activities or services provided pursuant to the Act and this article; including but not limited to issuance of certificates and bills, performance of inspections and opening separate fund accounts; and for any reasonable fees incurred through operation of an escrow account, which resolution is incorporated herein by reference, and which resolution may be amended from time to time by a subsequent resolution.