About Hurricane Laura

Prior to making landfall in the US, Laura had produced serious damage and took nearly two dozen lives across Hati and the Dominican Republic. As it was moving through the Gulf of Mexico, Laura quickly grew from a Category 1 to a Category 4 within 24 hours. In the early morning of August 27th, Hurricane Laura made landfall to the US Coast as the seventh named storm to do so this hurricane season.

At landfall, Hurricane Laura had wind speeds of up to 150 mph, causing mass construction along the border of Texas and Louisiana.

What’s Next?

A couple of days after the storm had passed, President Trump toured the damage in Orange, Texas and Lake Charles, Louisiana. Mr. Trump vowed assistance for both cities, saying in Texas that “we’ve never seen anything like” the force of the storm. He said that FEMA would deliver 400,000 liters of water and 200,000 meals for those who were affected by Laura.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that he has declared a disaster in 62 counties and their priorities are “power, water, evacuees, assessment.”

Residents and business owners have finally started to return to the area to assess the damages. Power and water outages are still affecting tens of thousands of people across the area, with no Return Date near.Helping Texas in the wake of Hurricane Laura 2020

How You Can Help

The following organizations have set up individual campaigns dedicated to those who have been affected by Hurricane Laura. Donate and volunteer as you are able!

Were you or someone you know affected by Hurricane Laura? Not sure where to start? Contact ICRS today!

According to the catastrophe risk modeling firm, Karen Clark & Company, the total insured losses from Hurricane Hanna could reach up to $350 million.

What does the estimate include?

Karen Clark & Company reported the estimate includes the privately insured wind and storm surge damage to residential, commercial/industrial properties and automobiles. The estimate does not include the National Flood Insurance Program losses.

Hurricane Hanna Damages

The storm brought high wind speeds to southern Texas and had over 200,000 customers without power.Hurricane Hanna Damage Insurance Claims

Low to moderate levels of wind damage was sustained throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Damage to signage and lightweight structures, such as gas station pavilions and marinas, were relatively common as well.

Other forms of damage included roof and siding damage with rare instances of more severe structural damage. Corpus Christi, Port Mansfield, McAllen, and other coastal towns all experienced storm surge flooding to residential and commercial buildings.

To read about Hurricane Hanna, check out our blog, “Hurricane Hanna Hits Southern Texas”.

To check out the original article from the Insurance Journal, click here.

About Hurricane Hanna

After several days of uncertainty, Hurricane Hanna made landfall as a Category 1 on July 25, 2020, hitting Padre Island the hardest. After landfall, the storm traveled southwest and weakened rapidly due to interaction with mountainous terrain and by July 26 had weakened into a tropical storm as it passed into Mexico.

Corpus Christi, Port Mansfield and many other coastal towns also experienced storm surge flooding to residential and commercial buildings from the hurricane.

Hurricane Hanna Damage

Hundreds of thousands of residents and business owners across southern Texas prepped for the storm damage to come, however, they couldn’t prepare for everything.

Hurricane Hanna was the first hurricane and the fourth U.S. landfalling storm of the 2020 North Atlantic hurricane season.

 

Losses

The latest reports have stated that insured losses from Hurricane Hanna will reach close to $350 million.

High wind speeds left more than 200,000 customers without power in South Texas, while low to moderate levels of wind damage were sustained throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Due to the high wind speeds, damage to signage and lightweight structures were relatively common. Additionally, damage to roofs and siding as well as several instances of structural damage have all been reported.

Downed power lines and trees caused road closures across Southern Texas. As of 1 p.m on Monday, July 27th, the American Electric Power Texas, one of the state’s largest electric providers, reported more than 58,000 power outages in Corpus Christi, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley alone.

The aftermath of Hurricane Hanna has been devastating for many people in the southern region of Texas. As a business, you may be wondering how to recover from damages and losses caused by the storm. Fortunately, our team at Insurance Claim Recovery Support is available to help get your company back on its feet after this natural disaster!

Have you suffered from damages caused by Hurricane Hanna? Contact us today!

As Hurricane Florence gathered strength and churned toward the U.S. East Coast, the National Hurricane Center warned Monday that conditions could be life-threatening.

Storm surges are expected on the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, along with major flooding that could be fatal. Hurricane-force winds are also predicted in the Carolinas.

But how does Florence compare to recent hurricanes that hit the U.S.?

Hurricane Florence is currently a Category 4 hurricane, with winds of 115 miles per hour. The storm is about 1,240 miles from the coast of North Carolina and is expected to approach the East Coast on Thursday and make landfall as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane. Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, both Category 4 storms, caused a total of about $215 billion in damage.

The past five hurricanes to hit the U.S. have resulted in significant loss of life and caused over $276 billion in damage, according to reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Read More Here


Was your property or business impacted by Hurricane Florence? If so, call Insurance Claim Recovery Support today to get help with your hurricane damage claim.

Which Came First: the Chicken, the Egg or the Hurricane?

While debates wax and wane in newspaper headlines, the harsh reality for thousands of policyholders in the wake of Hurricane Katrina centers around an age-old issue: which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or in this case, is it the wind damage or the tidal surge?

Policyholders are discovering that this issue has a sharp impact on their financial recovery as insurance carriers initially deny claims by anyone without flood insurance. Because there is little, if any, evidence left to verify the exact amount of wind damage, it is common for some carriers to call everything tidal surge. This leaves impacted policyholders in the unenviable position of having to figure out how to prove that the winds did, in fact, do at least partial damage before their property was flattened, flooded, or swept away by the 25- to 30-foot tidal surge. That is, if they hope to obtain any financial recovery at all based on their wind insurance policy.

Proving the impossible
While eyewitnesses are reporting that the winds hit at least an hour before the surge, it is still difficult to prove the extent of damages before the tidal surge since few residents were there to document the state of their property just prior to the flooding. In general, policyholders have little idea of where to begin.

As Gulf Shores, Alabama, attorney Harold Callaway III says, “With entire communities wiped away–for example, most of the city of Bayou La Batre, Ala., along with its shrimping industry–policyholders are left with little idea of where to start rebuilding, and their attorneys’ staffs are stretched thin or impacted themselves by the devastation.”

Too many cooks in the kitchen
In addition, policyholders are facing not only the complexities of proving their case, but even if they have flood insurance, they’re juggling negotiations with multiple parties.

In one commercial claim being handled by Adjusters International, a single building involves two named insureds, four different insurance companies, five claim files, three engineers, and four insurance company adjusters. Imagine the overwhelmed policyholder who might be facing this on their own. Even a relatively simple homeowner claim with flood coverage will typically involve two companies and at least two adjusters.

Brokers can learn several lessons from the recent hurricanes, none more pressing than the importance of taking the time to truly understand the full extent–and the limitations–of each policy sold.

As the insurance company “representative” with the most established relationship with policyholders, brokers are naturally looked at as having some influence over–and, as people look around for answers–some responsibility for the situation they find themselves facing.

A Gulf Coast marina, for example, assured by their agent at the last renewal that their all-risk policy included “storm coverage,” was shocked to find that they weren’t covered for flood. Perhaps not surprisingly, the marina has insinuated that if their extensive damages aren’t satisfactorily covered by what they’d believed was appropriate coverage, they may have to look to the agent for errors and omissions. How, after all, could a property right on the water not be covered for flood?

This could have been avoided had the agent simply clarified what the policyholder meant by “storm” coverage and gone the extra mile to ensure that the water-based marina indeed had flood coverage.

Before Katrina, no other event in recent memory has so highlighted the need for brokers to take the time to dig into each policyholders’ exposures and to read and understand each policy’s coverages and exclusions.

In the aftermath of this, Rita, and Wilma, policyholders need guidance on what steps to take to fully recover and how to prove at least a partial claim despite, in many cases, a lack of normally sufficient evidence being left standing. Right now, when it comes to chicken-and-egg decisions, entire livelihoods hang in the balance and the mood in these areas is grim. Insurance company adjusters are working in two-person teams to help ease their anxieties about hostility.

This is a time when it is easy for policyholders across the country to look with cynical eyes at the insurance industry. In their role as trusted advisors, brokers may be expected to pressure carriers to provide at least some coverage for policyholders who are currently facing blanket denials. Now is an important time for agents and brokers to make every effort to help clients make the best of a bad situation.

Cameron Ricci of Adjusters International has 16 years of adjusting experience and is a lead adjuster on the team serving the Gulf Coast region. Adjusters International is the nation’s largest claims consulting/public adjusting organization with offices throughout North America. www.adjustersinternational.com.

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TDI Fraud Unit Stops Roofers from Working Without a License

Not many people can say their dream came true in a week. But that’s what I watched happen Thursday as a team of police investigators I’ll call the TDI Fraud Unit aka “Roof Squad” traveled through tornado-ravaged Rowlett and stopped anybody who looked like a roofer.

TDI Fraud Unit aka “Roof Squad” is made up of three men wearing POLICE on their shirts and carrying guns, badges, and handcuffs.

They ask a lot of questions. Who are you with? Where are you from? Do you have a permit?

“Donde Esta el jefe?” one squad member asked a group of roofers atop a house in Rowlett.

Where’s the boss?

Squad leader Lt. David Taylor gets the boss on the phone. Turns out his workers reroofing a house are doing so illegally. El jefe forgot to get a city permit.

Oops. It’s that easy.

A week ago, I announced my intention to push for a state license for roofers and contractors. As part of that, in my ideal world, there would be a Roof Squad. Yes — even in anti-regulation Texas. Corrupt industries deserve tough anti-corruption measures.

And for at least one week, my imaginary Roof Squad is suddenly real. Soon they’ll go back to chasing people who burn cars for insurance money. But this week, in Rowlett and Garland, these guys are doing the Lord’s work.

Who are they?

The Roof Squad was dreamed up in Austin three weeks ago by the Texas Department of Insurance. This is its first run.

That’s not its real name, but I like it better than the Texas Department of Insurance fraud unit.

There are a couple of dozen insurance fraud investigators for the state. Last year, TDI received 15,000 complaints. You do the math. Busy chaps.

The best part is that roofers are not the sharpest shingles in the box. They don’t realize as they are being interrogated by TDI police that the state insurance department has no regulatory authority over them.

Because roofers and contractors are not licensed in Texas, most need only a driver’s license and a customer to function. Skills and trustworthiness are optional.

The bosses at TDI figured they’d put their guys out on the street and make a little noise. Show some presence. Show they care about protecting Texans. I like it.


Do you need an insurance claim appraisal? Hire the expert adjusters at ICRS and we’ll fight for the settlement you deserve!

Interested in the how the TDI fights fraud? Read more below:

Hurricane Irene and Insurers: Less Damage, Excuse to Hike Prices

The Weakened Storm Allows Insurers to Raise Prices

Hurricane Irene was the “Perfect Storm” for insurers, but in a very different sense of the term. The weakened storm that spared New York City from major hurricane damage gave the wealthy and rarely hit Northeast enough of a scare because of ominous weather forecasts leading up the storm that property insurers will be able to raise pricing even more next year, according to a Morgan Stanley analyst.

“Following $70b+ in global catastrophe losses (Australian floods, New Zealand quake, Japan quake/tsunami, US tornados in Joplin and Tuscaloosa) we never felt ‘one more storm’ was required to drive higher pricing in 2012,” wrote Morgan Stanley’s Gregory Locraft in a note to clients late Sunday. “Nonetheless, we believe Irene serves as that ‘one more storm’ for the doubters and the associated media focus became in effect a strong advertising campaign for the P&C industry. We expect higher prices and higher demand into 2012 across all property-related lines.”

Locraft estimates insurers will face overall losses from Irene of less than $10 billion, based on early reports from risk-modeling firms used by the insurance industry. Total economic losses will likely be twice that, according to the analyst.

The worry over Irene kicked into high gear on Wednesday when the storm was still a Category 3 and various computer models showed a destructive patch up the Eastern seaboard, ultimately hitting New York city and Long Island. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the first ever mandatory evacuation of low-lying areas and shut down the subway system on Saturday before the storm.

Morgan Stanley’s favorite insurance stocks are RenaissanceRe, Travelers, ACE Limited, Axis Capital Holdings, and Chubb.

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Worried Hurricane Irene will raise your insurance price? Learn more here:

Damage from Hurricane Irene could raise insurance prices

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hurricane Irene, threatening to become the first hurricane to hit the United States in three years, could be the catalyst the insurance industry has been seeking in its quest for across-the-board premium increases after years of weakness.

Like speculators in the futures market who applaud the effects of drought on wheat prices, another disaster could ultimately cheer investors in insurance and reinsurance stocks. Major storms in 2004 and 2005 triggered a surge in insurance stocks after the fact.

Since Hurricane Ike in 2008, though, the United States has enjoyed relatively mild weather by disaster standards, up to this year.

Weather-tracking maps on Monday suggest Irene could make landfall as soon as late Thursday. Though the tools are less reliable in advance of 72 hours from landfall, some models forecast that the Carolinas are vulnerable to a major storm with winds in excess of 110 miles per hour.

Regardless, 2011 already promises to be the costliest year in history for natural disasters around the globe.

By some estimates, insurers have lost as much as $90 billion already this year, 20 percent more than they lost in 2009 and 2010 combined. Insurers have not been able to raise rates for three years amid strong competition and readily available supply, but industry veterans say even a small storm now would be enough to trigger premium hikes.

“It wouldn’t take much of a material event to cause significant firming,” said Gary Prestia, chief executive of the U.S. business at global reinsurer Flagstone Re. “It wouldn’t take the typical $40 billion Katrina to push this into a firmer market than it is currently.”

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Read more about how Hurricane Irene affects insurance here: