Article I Fire Insurance Claims
The Borough Secretary, or his or her designated representative, is hereby appointed as the Borough's officer authorized to enforce all of the provisions of this article and all rules, procedures and regulations adopted under authority of this article.
No insurer, including, without limitation, an insurance company, association or exchange (hereinafter collectively referred to as the "insuring agent"), doing business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, shall pay a claim of its named insured for fire damage to a structure located within the Borough where the amount recoverable for the fire loss to the structure under all policies applicable to the said loss exceeds the sum of $7,500, unless the named insured or the insuring agent is furnished by the Borough with a municipal certificate pursuant to Section 508(b) of Act 98 of 1992, and unless there is compliance with Sections 508(c) and 508(d) of such Act and with the provisions of this article.
Where, pursuant to Section 508(b)(1)(ii) of Act 98 of 1992, the Borough issues a certificate and bill showing the amount of delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties and user charges against the property and the amount of the total costs, if any, certified to have been incurred by the Borough for the removal, repair or securing of the building, structure or property, all as more specifically set forth in Section 508(b)(1)(ii) of the Act, the insuring agent shall, in accordance with Section 508(b)(2)(ii) of the Act, transfer to the Borough's designated officer an amount from the proceeds necessary to pay the taxes, assessments, penalties, charges and costs as shown on the bill.
Where, pursuant to Section 508(b)(1)(i) of the Act, as amended, the Borough issues a certificate, or, at the discretion of the Municipality, a verbal notification which shall be confirmed in writing by the insurer to the effect that, as of the date specified in the request, there are no delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties or user charges against the property which is the subject of the fire damage, 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 sixty percent of the aggregate limits of liability on all fire policies covering the property that is the subject of the fire damage, the following procedures must be followed and satisfied:
The insuring agent shall transfer from the insurance proceeds to the Borough's designated officer in the aggregate of $2,000 for each $15,000 of a claim and for each fraction of that amount of a claim, such that if the claim is $15,000 or less, the amount transferred to the Borough shall be $2,000.
If, at the time a proof of loss has been agreed to between the named insured and the insuring agent, the named insured has submitted 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 paragraph (a)(1) hereof, the insuring agent shall transfer to the Borough from the insurance proceeds the amount specified in the signed estimate.
The transfer of proceeds from the insuring agent to the Borough shall be on a pro rata basis by all insuring agents insuring the property that is the subject of the fire damage.
After the transfer of the funds set forth above, the named insured may submit a contractor's signed estimate of the cost of removing, repairing or securing the building or other structure, and the Borough's designated officer shall return to the named insured the amount of the funds transferred to the Borough in excess of the signed estimate submitted to the named insured by the contractor, provided that the Borough has not commenced to remove, repair or secure the building, property or other structure that is the subject of the fire damage.
Upon the Borough's receipt of the proceeds of insurance authorized under this article, the Borough shall do the following:
The designated officer shall place the proceeds received by the Borough in a separate fund to be used by the Borough solely as security against the total cost of removing, repairing or securing the building, structure or property that is the subject of the fire damage, which cost may be, has been or is being incurred by the Borough. The Borough shall be entitled to recover such costs, including, but not limited to, reasonable and necessary engineering, legal or administrative costs incurred by the Borough in connection with the removal, repair or securing of the building, structure or real property that is the subject of the fire damage.
As mandated under Act 98 of 1992, it shall be the obligation of the insuring agent, when transferring to the Borough the funds as required by this article, to provide the Borough with the name and address of the named insured. Upon receipt of the said transferred funds by the Borough together with the name and address of the named insured, the Borough, through its designated officer, shall contact the named insured, certify that the proceeds have been received by the Borough and notify the said named insured that the procedures under this article shall be followed.
When repair, removal or securing of the building or other structure has been completed in accordance with all applicable regulations and orders of the Borough and the required proof of such completion has been received by the Borough's designated officer, provided that the said Borough has not incurred any cost for such repair, removal or securing, then the said funds shall be returned by the Borough to the named insured. However, if the Borough has incurred any cost for repair, removal or securing of the building, structure or real property, the cost so incurred shall be paid to the Borough from the fund, and any excess funds remaining, if any, shall be transferred by the Borough to the named insured.
To the extent that any interest is earned on proceeds held by the Borough pursuant to this article, and there are no excess funds to be returned by the Borough to the named insured, then such interest shall belong to and be the property of the Borough. To the extent that any proceeds are returned to the named insured, interest on only that portion of the funds returned shall be distributed to the named insured at the time that the proceeds are returned.
As authorized by Act 98 of 1992, nothing in this article shall be construed to limit the ability of the Borough to recover any deficiency that may exist in its favor over and above the said transferred funds or proceeds paid to it by the insuring agent, Further, nothing in this article shall be construed to prohibit the Borough 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 Borough hereby reserves the right to adopt any reasonable and necessary rules, procedures and regulations to implement Act 98 of 1992.
Council hereby further reserves the right to adopt by resolution reasonable fees to be charged by the Borough for such services or activities required by it under Act 98 of 1992 and this article. The Borough shall be entitled to set reasonable fees for the issuance of certificates, the performance of required inspections and the opening, establishment and management of any separate fund accounts required herein.
In accordance with Section 508(k) of Act 98 of 1992, the Borough intends that this article and the Act be liberally construed to accomplish the stated purpose of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in adopting the Act, namely to deter the commission of arson and related crimes, to discourage the abandonment of property and to prevent urban blight and deterioration.
Upon adoption of this article, the proper officials of the Borough are hereby authorized and required to file with the Department of Community Affairs an exact copy of this article, as amended, so adopted and to certify therein the name, position and telephone number of the Municipal official designated as the Borough officer authorized to carry out all responsibilities and duties provided for herein. In accordance with Act 93 of 1994, a copy of this article, as amended, shall be filed with the Governor's Center for Local Government Services.