[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Lower Moreland as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This chapter was adopted as Ch. 66 but was renumbered in order to maintain the organization of the Code.
[Adopted 11-10-2016 by Ord. No. 720]
No insurance company, association or exchange (hereinafter "insurer") doing business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania shall pay a claim of a named insured for fire damage to a structure located within Lower Moreland Township where the amount recoverable for the fire loss to the structure under all policies exceeds $7,500, unless the insurer is furnished by the Township with a certificate pursuant to Subsection 508(b) of the Insurance Company Law of 1921, as amended by Act 98 of 1992 and Act 93 of 1994 (40 P.S. § 638) (the "Act") and unless there is compliance with the procedures set forth in Subsections 508(c) and (d) of the Act, as amended.
Municipal claims and expenses.
Where there are delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties or user charges against the property ("municipal claims"), or there are expenses which Lower Moreland Township has incurred as a cost for the removal, repair or securing of a building or other structure on the property (collectively "municipal expenses"), the Township shall immediately render a bill for such work, if it has not already done so. Upon written request of the named insured specifying the tax description of the property, the name and address of the insurer and the date of receipt by the insurer of a loss report of the claim, the Township shall furnish a certificate within 14 working days after the request, to the insurer, a certificate (or at the Township's discretion, an oral notice confirmed in writing) either:
Taxes, assessments, penalties, and user charges shall be deemed delinquent for this purpose if a lien could have been filed for such claims under applicable law.
Upon receipt of a certificate and bill pursuant to Subsection B above, the insurer shall transfer to the Township an amount from the insurance proceeds sufficient to pay such sums prior to making payment to the named insured, subject to the provisions of this article.
When all municipal claims and municipal expenses have been paid pursuant to Subsection C above, or where the Township has issued a certificate described in Subsection B(1) above indicating that there are no municipal claims or municipal expenses against the property, the insurer shall pay the claim of the named insured; provided, however, that if the loss agreed upon by the named insured and the insurer equals or exceeds 60% of the aggregate limits of liability on all fire policies covering the building or structure, the following procedures must be followed:
The insurer shall transfer from the insurance proceeds to the Secretary of the Township, in the aggregate, $2,000 for each $15,000 of such claim or fraction thereof.
If at the time a loss report is submitted by the insured, such insured has submitted to the insurer, with a copy to Lower Moreland Township, a contractor's signed estimate of the cost of removing, repairing, or securing the building or other structure in an amount less than the amount calculated under the foregoing transfer formula, the insurer shall transfer to the Secretary of the Township from the insurance proceeds the amount specified in the estimate.
If there is more than one insurer, the transfer of proceeds shall be on a pro rata basis by all insurers insuring the building or other structure.
Upon receipt of the above-described portion of the insurance proceeds, the Secretary of the Township shall do the following:
Place the proceeds in a separate fund to be used solely as security against the total municipal expenses anticipated by Lower Moreland Township to be required in removing, repairing, or securing the building or structure as required by this article. Such costs shall include, without limitation, any engineering, legal, or administrative costs incurred by Lower Moreland Township in connection with such removal, repair, or securing or any proceedings related thereto; and
Mail to the named insured, at the address received from the insurer, a notice the proceeds have been received by Lower Moreland Township and that the procedures under this article shall be followed.
After the transfer, the named insured may submit to Lower Moreland Township a contractor's signed estimate of the cost of removing, repairing, or securing the building or other structure, in which event the Secretary of the Township shall, if such estimate is deemed by the Secretary of the Township to be reasonable, return to the insured the amount of the funds transferred to Lower Moreland Township in excess of that required to pay the municipal expenses; provided, the Township has not commenced to remove, repair, or secure the building or other structure, in which case the Township will complete the work.
Pay to the Township, for reimbursement to Lower Moreland Township general fund, the amount of the municipal expenses paid by the Township.
Pay the remaining balance in the fund (without interest) to the named insured upon receipt of a certificate issued by the Secretary of the Township that the repair, removal, or securing of the building or other structure has been completed in accordance with all applicable codes and regulations of Lower Moreland Township.
Nothing in this article shall be construed to limit the ability of Lower Moreland Township to recover any deficiency in the amount of municipal claims or municipal expenses recovered pursuant to this article, or to insurance proceeds, by an action at law or in equity to enforce the codes of Lower Moreland Township or to enter into an agreement with the named insured with regard to such other disposition of the proceeds as the Township may deem responsible.
Nothing in this article shall be construed to make an insurance company, association, or exchange liable for any amount in excess of proceeds payable under its insurance policy or for any other act performed pursuant to this article or to make Lower Moreland Township, or any public Lower Moreland Township official, an insured under a policy of insurance or to create an obligation to pay delinquent property taxes or unpaid removal liens or expenses other than as provided in this article.
An insurance company, association, or exchange making payment of policy proceeds under this article for delinquent taxes or structure removal liens or removal expenses incurred by Lower Moreland Township shall have a full benefit of such payment, including all rights of subrogation and of assignment.
This article shall be liberally construed to accomplish its purpose to deter the commission of arson and related crimes, to discourage the abandonment of property, and to prevent urban blight and deterioration.
The Secretary of the Township shall transmit a certified copy of this article promptly to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
Any owner of property, named insured, or insurer who violates the provisions of this article or who shall fail to comply with any of the requirements hereof shall be sentenced, upon conviction thereof, to a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs. Each day for which an offense shall continue shall be deemed a separate offense.