* Fisker lost 338 Karma hybrids from Sandy-related flood
* XL said to have denied coverage in policy dispute
* XL not immediately available for comment
By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK, Dec 28 Fisker Automotive has sued XL
Group Plc after being denied insurance coverage over
flooding from Superstorm Sandy that destroyed 338 of its Karma
plug-in hybrids, worth about $33 million, at a Port Newark, New
Jersey, shipping facility.
In a complaint filed on Friday in the New York State Supreme
Court in Manhattan, Fisker said the vehicles had been submerged
in more than 5 feet of seawater on Oct. 29 while they were
awaiting shipment to dealers across the country.
The Anaheim, California-based startup said it submitted a
timely claim to XL Insurance America Inc, whose policy entitled
it to a maximum $100 million of coverage for named storms such
as Sandy, subject to a deductible and other provisions, only to
have it denied on Dec. 20.
David Klein, a partner at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe
which represents Fisker, said in a phone interview that the
dispute centered on whether the cars were in "transit," and
which sublimits may apply, if any.
Fisker is seeking a court order that its policy covers the
vehicle loss, as well as damages for breach of contract and
An XL spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests
for comment. The company is based in Dublin, Ireland, but has a
U.S. office in Stamford, Connecticut.
More than 10,000 vehicles were estimated to have been lost
at the New Jersey facility, including several thousand from
Toyota Motor Corp.
The denial of insurance coverage followed a series of
quality-control and financial setbacks this year at privately
held Fisker tied to the launch of the Karma.
Sandy is expected to become the second-costliest U.S.
catastrophe in history, trailing only 2005's Hurricane Katrina,
with insured loss estimates as high as $25 billion.
XL shares closed down 10 cents at $24.69 on the New York
Stock Exchange on Friday.
The case is Fisker Automotive Inc v. XL Insurance America
Inc, New York State Supreme Court, New York county, No.