Ace Am. Ins. Co. v. Fed. Crop Ins. Corp., No. 14-1992(RCL), 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128123 (D. D.C. Sept. 20, 2016).
A DC federal court had before it a dispute between a crop insurer and the federal insurance provider that operates under the Federal Crop Insurance Act through a standard reinsurance agreement. The dispute was about the actuarial methodology allegedly modified and altering the premiums for several crops. The issue was handled administratively, resulting in a decision upholding the action of the government insurer. This action was brought on claims allegedly outside the scope of the administrative board’s jurisdiction and a declaration that the board erred.
The government insurer moved to dismiss the complaint and the court granted the motion. The case is useful for its analysis of a challenge to this type of administrative proceeding and the jurisdictional issues involving the federal crop insurance program. Claims for promissory estoppel and unjust enrichment were dismissed because of the existence of a binding contract – the standard reinsurance agreement.
The case demonstrates the difficulty in challenging determinations under the standard reinsurance agreement in the federal crop insurance program.