Borough Reimbursed for Uninsured Pool Trailers
The trailers were destroyed in Hurricane Irene.
In a recent development that borough manager Tom Metzler called a “major accomplishment,” Fair Lawn’s insurance carrier will reimburse the borough for the loss of the Memorial Pool trailers destroyed in Hurricane Irene.
Metzler said the borough’s insurance would pay the full replacement value on the uninsured trailers -- initially chalked up as an unfortunate non-reimbursable loss – as well as the cost to demolish those damaged trailers and rent temporary replacement trailers, for a total reimbursement of $326,664.
Although originally portable, the trailers became functionally immobile after bathrooms and gas lines were installed underneath them. With the borough unable to relocate them for that reason, the trailers became a casualty of the hurricane.
Just days after he took over as borough manager this January, Metzler reported to council that the borough's insurance carrier had declined to reimburse the loss of the trailers because the borough had cancelled its flood insurance on the property after the portable trailers were installed following Tropical Storm Floyd.
However, as Metzler later learned, the pool trailers had not been left uninsured out of negligence, but rather because FEMA's guidelines prohibit insuring mobile equipment.
For the past few months, Metzler has gone back and forth with the borough's insurance carrier arguing that the trailers were portable and thus the borough should be reimbursed for them.
In the end, his persistence, and that of the borough's insurance representative, paid off.
“Once our [insurance] representative received pictures where the wheels and tires and everything were still on the trailers, and he read the policy himself and he agreed, he went to bat for us," Metzler said, "which he was able to do successfully."
With the reimbursement check firmly in hand, the borough has now received enough money back to repay the entire amount borrowed to cover losses immediately following Hurricane Irene.
“This is a significant accomplishment,” Metzler said. “I’m very, very pleased with that.”