The Spongs bought property on Galveston Island and obtained flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program. Unfortunately, their property was located in an “coastal barrier resources system” area, ineligible for flood insurance; even more unfortunately, Hurricane Ike completely swept away everything on the property. The record showed confusion about the property address and the records kept by FEMA and the Fish and Wildlife Service. On an interlocutory appeal, the Fifth Circuit held that: (1) federal law did not preempt the Spongs’ claims related to “procurement,” as opposed to “claims handling,” but (2) “[i]n determining whether the property was within the CBRS and therefore eligible for a federal flood insurance policy, [the insurer] was acting as the representative of the Government, not the Spongs”; accordingly, the Spongs could not establish reasonable reliance. Spong v. Fidelity Nat’l Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., No. 13-41317 (May 22, 2015).
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