Hurricane flood claim deadline pushed to Jan. 31

Federal officials have agreed to give National Flood Insurance Program policyholders until Jan. 31, 2017 to file claims associated with Hurricane Hermine.

The storm, the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida in 11 years, landed as a Category 1 storm south of Tallahassee in early September but caused limited damage more broadly across the state.

Hermine produced about 1,686 federal flood insurance claims, according to a state website. More than 19,000 Hermine claims of all types in Florida are expected to cost more than $147 million. These included less than 200 claims in Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties.

 

2017 could bring active hurricane season, report says

Another busy hurricane season may be on the way, according to an early assessment of climate patterns released Wednesday by a leading center for hurricane research.

A report by Colorado State University's Department of Atmospheric Science says conditions would appear to favor an above-average season, although it is difficult to make firm predictions this early.

Favoring a busier season are the recent warming of the North Atlantic Ocean and the likely absence of El Niño, the periodic warming of the Pacific that tends to suppress the formation of hurricanes, said researcher Philip Klotzbach, who wrote the report.

And this could mean we could see as many storms or more than those seen last season, the busiest in years, which saw 15 hurricanes and tropical storms.

"The most likely scenario at this point is for another above-average season," he said.

But an average season also remains a strong possibility, he said.

The worst-case scenario, given a 20 percent chance, calls for an unusually busy season. This could yield a total energy from tropical storms and hurricanes, known as accumulated cyclone energy, of 170, far above the yearly average of 96.

Such a level of accumulated energy typically involves nine to 11 hurricanes, of which four to five would be Category 3 or above. These storms have wind speeds of at least 111 miles per hour, capable of causing what the National Hurricane Center describes as devastating damage.

This number of hurricanes would far exceed the total seen last season, which produced seven hurricanes, three of them major. This above-average season followed several relatively quiet years, ending Florida's 11-year hurricane-free streak and producing the strongest Atlantic storm since 2007.

Another scenario, given a 40 percent chance, calls for a season with an accumulated cyclone energy of 130, which would typically mean a season of six to eight hurricanes, with two to three reaching major status.

"The top two scenarios typically lead to active Atlantic hurricane seasons with above-average levels of hurricane activity," Klotzbach said.

At the low end, there's a 10 percent chance of conditions favoring a below average season, with two to three hurricanes, of which zero to one major ones.

It remains early, however, with hurricane season starting on June 1. Over the next few months, scientists will monitor several major climate factors.

A reappearance of El Niño, while considered unlikely, would suppress the formation of hurricanes. Although there is currently a weak La Niña, a cooling in the Pacific that favors hurricane formation, that may disappear by hurricane season, a scenario forecast by several models, Klotzbach said.

Another major factor is a the cycle of warming and cooling of the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean. Warm ocean water is the essential fuel for hurricanes

"Over the past few years, the far North Atlantic has generally been colder than normal, which is one of the reasons that we believe some recent Atlantic hurricane seasons have been fairly quiet," Klotzbach said.

But over the past few months, the ocean has warmed, the report states. If this persists, it would be a strong factor favoring a busier season.

Originally written and published for Sun Sentinel

Claims data shows Florida hurricane Matthew loss rises to $549m

Insurance claims from hurricane Matthew have now reached $549 million, according to data from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, but the rate of increase has slowed significantly, rising less than one hundred million dollars in the last week.

The first update from the regulator had shown that hurricane Matthew losses from insurance claims filed hit $218 million by the 12th October, then rose strongly to $454 million of insurance claims filed by Friday 14th of October, representing 75,215 claims made.

Now, in a fresh update, the Florida insurance and reinsurance industry regulator has shared data showing the total now reaching $549 million, based on claims filings received by the afternoon of Friday 21st October.

The new figure is taken from 91,212 filed claims, of which 25.7% have been closed with almost 12% receiving a payment. With over almost 68,000 claims open as of Friday and around 46% of closed claims having received a payment so far, it’s easy to see how the total could rise over the coming weeks, amplifying the need for insurance and reinsurance capital support.

There remains an expectation that a significant proportion of losses from hurricane Matthew will fall to reinsurance capital providers, including capital market investors through some ILS funds, collateralised reinsurance covers and also some reinsurance sidecars.

Insurance and reinsurance industry loss estimates for hurricane Matthew continue to suggest a range from as low as $4 billion to perhaps as much as $8 billion, including the damage suffered in the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

In the latest figures from the Florida insurance regulator, private residential property losses remain the bulk of the filed claims, with homeowners leading the way, while commercial, business interruption, other lines and flood all having much fewer claims filed.

Volusia county continues to lead the way , in terms of claims filed, with now 26,664 of the claims occurring there, still followed by Duval, Brevard, St Johns and Flagler.

With almost 68,000 claims still open the loss adjusting community has its work cut out to demonstrate that the insurance industry can deal with these claims rapidly. Some reinsurance payouts are reported to have already made their way to cedents, but for many indemnity covers the full claims bill will dictate where the payouts go and so it could be some weeks before the market understands its full exposure.

Originally by ARTEMIS on OCTOBER 24, 2016

Hurricane Matthew: How to prepare and what to expect

Hurricane Matthew: How to prepare and what to expect

The latest National Hurricane Center forecast track turns Matthew more northwest with movement closely parallel the Florida East Coast as a major hurricane from Thursday night (10/6/16) into Friday (10/7/16). 

The relatively close approach of Hurricane Matthew to Florida will bring a period of damaging hurricane force winds to the coast. Inland counties will also see a likelihood of sustained tropical storm force winds.

Flood Policy 411

Flood policies are issued through the Federal Government with National Flood Insurance Policy. The flood policies are sold through regular homeowners insurance agents and the Federal Government does not have brick and mortar stores to sell these policies.  The insurance agents that sell these are all selling the same product and it is much more limited than a homeowners policy. It is not meant to bring the customer back whole, but to offer some coverage to avoid financial disaster.  Here is a brief review of items that are covered and items that are not:

Personal Contents Property

  • Personal belongings, such as clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment.
  • Curtains.
  • Portable and window air-conditioners.
  • Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers.
  • Carpets that are not included in building coverage.
  • Clothing washers and dryers.
  • Food freezers and the food in them.
  • Certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500).

Building Property

  • The insured building and its foundation.
  • Electrical and plumbing systems.
  • Central air-conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters.
  • Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers.
  • Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring.
  • Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases, and cabinets.
  • Window blinds.
  • Detached garages (up to 10 percent of building property coverage; other than garages, detached buildings require a separate building property policy).
  • Debris removal.

 

Flood Insurance for Basements and Areas below the Lowest Elevated Floor

Coverage is limited in basements regardless of zone or date of construction. It's also limited in areas below the lowest elevated floor, depending on the flood zone and date of construction. These areas include:

  • Basements.
  • Crawl spaces under an elevated building.
  • Enclosed areas beneath buildings elevated on full-story foundation walls that are sometimes referred to as "walkout basements."
  • Enclosed areas under other types of elevated buildings.

 

What's Not Covered

  • Damage caused by moisture, mildew, or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner.
  • Currency, precious metals, and valuable papers such as stock certificates.
  • Property and belongings outside of an insured building, such as trees, plants, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs, and swimming pools.
  • Living expenses, such as temporary housing.
  • Financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property.
  • Most self-propelled vehicles, such as cars, including their parts (see Section IV.5 in your policy).

Hurricane Hermine

To Florida property owners who were impacted by the recent hurricane:

 

1. This is a named storm. Even if the hurricane did not make a direct hit in your area a hurricane deductible will be applied. This is typically 2% of the insured value of the home.
2. Flood is not covered under any Homeowners Policy. You must have a separate flood policy. If you have a flood policy there still needs to be a general condition of flooding in the area. Flooding to your property alone would not be a covered loss. 
3. Any water that enters from the ground is not covered. You should not file a claim for ground water if you have only a homeowners only. 
4. Some Dwelling (Homeowners) policies cover wind driven rain coming into the homes, some do not. Commercial policies typically do not.
5. Do not file a claim just to have someone come and check your property. If the insurance comes out and pays you nothing, it has the same effects to your claim record as if you had major damage. 
6. Photograph any damages before cleaning anything up.
7.  MOST IMPORTANTLY - Call Your Private Adjuster BEFORE you call your insurance company. We will come complete a FREE EVALUATION of your loss to make sure you do not have a claim unnecessarily. If you do have a claim, we guarantee to maximize it. We can also refer you to tarping and dry out companies if necessary.

 

Don't leave money on the table!

Call us toll free at 1-800-892-1116

Colorado Springs hail storm has wreaked havoc, caused millions of dollars in damage.

You are allowed to hire representation for your claim, and you should. Call us for a free consultation. We just finished a large townhome association where the insurance company offered $600,000. Our final settlement was $1.6 million. What you don't know can hurt you.

We are in Colorado Springs ready to help all homeowners, business owners and community associations maximize their insurance claims. 

Hailstorms affect more than roofing. The insurance company may come out and write you a check but you could still have thousands in overlooked damages. 

Don't leave money on the table!

News article here: 

http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-hailstorm-has-wreaked-havoc-caused-millions-of-dollars-in-damage/article/1581797

Tornado Related Insurance Claims in OK to 32,433

NORMAN — The total number of tornado-related insurance claims filed by Oklahomans has climbed to 32,433 since May 19. The filings represent insured losses of nearly $250 million, including 13,938 homeowners claims, 17,492 auto claims and 724 commercial property claims.

“We are continuing to come up with ways to address consumer concerns and provide united support,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “The victims can rest assured that we will be here to help until the last claim is filed.”

The Oklahoma Insurance Department is continuing to assist tornado victims across the state by planning a series of outreach events in the impacted areas. During the meetings, insurance experts will be able to explain the claims process and answer questions from consumers. The schedule will be announced at a later date.

Additionally, OID consumer information is available at several locations in the impacted areas. The updated list of locations includes:

· Moore City Hall, 301 N. Broadway St.

· Gordon Cooper Technology Center, One John C. Bruton Blvd., Shawnee

· Little Axe Elementary School gymnasium, 2000 168th Ave. Northeast

· Carney High School, rooms 5-7, 304 S. Carney Road

· El Reno at Jenks Simmons Field House, 211 N. Country Club

Impacted consumers with questions also are encouraged to call the Consumer Assistance Division at 1-800-522-0071.

Commissioner Doak issued an emergency declaration allowing emergency claims adjusters to obtain temporary licenses to expedite the insurance claims process and provide immediate assistance to impacted consumers. Licensed agents and adjusters also are required to obtain an identification badge from the OID office in Oklahoma City before entering the tornado-damaged areas. The requirement is aimed at protecting consumers from unlicensed or unscrupulous characters attempting to take advantage of them.

For more information, visit ok.gov/oid/disasterrecovery.html