The association representing boat slip owners at Harbour Town Yacht Club claims an insurance company is refusing to cover about $3 million in damages from Hurricane Matthew.
The Harbour Town Yacht Club Boat Slip Owner’s Association in a federal lawsuit filed this week said it had a maximum $4.5 million policy with the Pennsylvania-based ACE American Insurance Company for claims involving marina operations and replacement of docks.
The association told ACE that the hurricane damage costs would be “at least” $3,137,565, yet the insurance company offered $129,452, the suit said. The association alleges ACE breached its contract because it “delayed, failed, and refused” to cover the damages. ACE had paid a prior “inadequate advance” in addition to its offer, according to the suit.
Nexsen Pruet attorney Brad Waring of Charleston, who is representing the association, said Friday the suit has not yet been served to ACE.
“We’d rather resolve it than fight it in a court room,” Waring said. “But we’re prepared to do that if we have to.”
ACE representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The suit claims that ACE handled the claims investigation haphazardly, had “inadequately trained employees,” and violated state law. Besides the loss of payments due under the insurance policy, the association also seeks to recover the cost of borrowing money to make repairs resulting from the hurricane, as well as lawsuit costs.
The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette reported in January that the Harbour Town docks were in the process of being rebuilt, and the marina would get a new pier and other repairs resulting from the Oct. 8 hurricane. Although not all of the work was finished by the annual Heritage golf tournament in April, the yacht basin was open for tournament partygoers.