Property Insurance News

06/17/2019 04:00 PM
Gas Explosion Levels Home In Ridgefield, New Jersey
One person was treated after a house exploded in Ridgefield, N.J. Monday. The explosion took place at 360 Abbott Avenue, near Elizabeth Street at around 11:30 a.m. The explosion sent a large plume of smoke and column of flame rising into the air. The flames rose from a large field of debris. Large sections of siding of the house could be seen strewn about. The house was completely obliterated, reported CBS2’s Meg Baker. The debris field extended three blocks, officials said. The blast was caused by a gas leak, authorities said.

06/17/2019 10:02 AM
NWS: Six Tornadoes Touched Down In Central Indiana On Saturday
Officials have confirmed that strong Saturday storms across Central Indiana produced at six tornadoes, leaving thousands without power and sparking severe flooding resulting in at least one water rescue. According to the National Weather Service, the tornadoes touched down between Freedom and Spencer in Owen County around 6:30 p.m.; near Ellettsville in Monroe County shortly before 7 p.m.; in Beech Grove around 7:30 p.m.; in east Marion County 7:37 p.m.; in eastern Greene County at 6:56 p.m.; and in southern Rushville in Rush County shortly before 9 p.m. NWS meteorologist Joseph Nield said preliminary investigation indicates that the Beech Grove tornado was an EF-1 level storm that was 200 yards wide with 100 mph winds.

06/14/2019 09:53 AM
He Tried To Plug A Wasp Nest; He Ended Up Sparking California’s Biggest Wildfire
It was a fire that crossed mountain ranges and valleys, that spanned multiple counties and shocked Californians by its sheer scale — by far the biggest wildfire in modern state history. And yet a newly disclosed investigation suggests it was probably started by a single man and a single spark. In a report released in recent days, forensic investigators found that a rancher started the fire when hammering a metal stake in his backyard to snuff out a wasp nest. Sparks flew, igniting dry grass stalks and spreading fire quickly across the desiccated landscape. The rancher’s name was not disclosed, but a review of records led to the home of Glenn Kile, a former heavy equipment operator in his mid-50s, who had no inkling of the devastation he would unleash on a Friday morning last July while tinkering in his backyard.

06/14/2019 09:45 AM
60 Homes Damaged By Floods In Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Washington County’s Emergency Manager says 60 homes flooded, mostly in a neighborhood on the South side of Bartlesville. Many of them had water four feet and deeper. The neighborhood is dry now and much of the debris has been cleared, and neighbors are airing out homes that have been stripped to the studs. "It was a surprise just because of how quickly it happened," said T.J. Dickinson, who said the water first appeared on the street 90 minutes before it was ankle deep inside his house. Soon it was waist deep and he had to leave with his two children and wife, Amanda. The water rose almost to the countertops in their kitchen. "That was hard to see, all your things floating around the house," said Amanda Dickinson. The Dickinson family had plenty of company as many homes on their street flooded. The water came from flash flooding on the creeks that feed the nearby Caney River.

06/14/2019 09:13 AM
Man Arrested For Arson After Fire Destroys Home Under Construction, Damages 4 Others
A man arrested on suspicion of arson after a two-alarm fire broke out at a home under construction in The Strand in Hermosa Beach. Neighbors say they started smelling smoke a little before 2 a.m. and discovered a fire had started in a three-story home that was under construction in the 800 block of the Strand. Because homes are built very close together in this beachside community, the flames spread quickly to neighbors on each side and across the alley. Besides the home that was left a charred skeleton, four other homes were severely damaged.

06/13/2019 12:45 PM
State-Backed Citizens Insurance Grapples With Thousands Of Lawsuits
Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida lawmakers this spring approved a plan to overhaul the controversial insurance practice known as “assignment of benefits” — and put new restrictions on lawsuits against insurers. But the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will continue grappling with thousands of lawsuits, including many stemming from disputes about claims from Hurricane Irma in 2017, according to numbers detailed Wednesday. As of April 30, Citizens faced 14,091 pending lawsuits, a nearly 14 percent increase from the 12,363 cases pending a year earlier. During the first four months of 2019, the insurer averaged 833 new lawsuits a month. That was down 22 percent from the same period in 2018, which was in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

06/12/2019 07:00 PM
Options Are Few For Storm-Ravaged Homes With Insufficient Insurance
With the Atlantic hurricane season underway, homeowners should be aware that inadequate insurance coverage can make recovering from a bad situation even worse. Whether damage from a storm comes from wind or water, homeowners whose coverage is insufficient have discovered the hard way that it makes recovery difficult and that their options for help are limited. “Some people believe they don’t need [coverage], and then they experience an event and realize they can’t afford the cost of repairs or rebuilding,” said Brock Long, former administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and now executive chairman at Hagerty Consulting, an emergency management consulting firm based in Evanston, Illinois. As temperatures rise and more moisture is held in the air, massive storms – some of which stall and dump torrential rainfall – have become more frequent in recent years. This has caused flooding in places that previously were unaccustomed to it. While most homeowners carry standard homeowners insurance, those policies typically have a hurricane deductible, and don’t cover damage from flooding – which often causes the most damage. Separate flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program or a private carrier. Yet unless you’re in a special designated flood zone, your lender likely doesn’t require it. When a homeowner faces storm-related damage – regardless of the weather event – that is uncovered, there might be government programs that can provide financial assistance: FEMA grants and Small Business Administration loans. However, that help is not guaranteed, and it likely wouldn’t get you quickly back on your feet. For instance, after 2017′s Hurricane Harvey, which dumped as much as 60 inches of rain in some spots in Texas, the average FEMA grant for individuals was $7,000, while the average claim through the National Flood Insurance Program was more than $100,000. “FEMA can kickstart recovery, but it wasn’t designed to make you whole,” Long said. And, FEMA only gets involved when the weather event is declared a disaster area by the president. SBA loans also are only available in those situations. You can apply for up to $200,000 toward the cost of repairing or replacing your primary residence – vacation homes generally don’t count.

06/12/2019 02:15 PM
6000 Wind-Related Claims Filed In Dallas County, Texas
The thunderstorm that swept through the area in about an hour Sunday may take months to recover from as tree service companies worked to remove downed trees, roofing firms began repairs and homeowners filed insurance claims for damage. By Monday afternoon, property owners had filed 6,000 insurance claims — most of them in Dallas County, where about a quarter of Oncor customers lost power. The downed trees and other debris that caused many of the outages made up the bulk of the damage reports. “Claims will continue to pour in for the next several days,” said Insurance Council of Texas spokesman Mark Hanna, who added that it is too soon to estimate the financial impact of the storm.

06/11/2019 11:15 AM
Canada’s Wildfire Season Is Off To A Ferocious Start
Crystal McAteer has watched ferocious wildfires chew through her home province of Alberta through the years, so she wasn’t surprised when flames arrived on her doorstep. Still, McAteer, the mayor of High Level, Alberta, a town of roughly 3,200 some 460 miles north of Edmonton, had never seen anything like the Chuckegg Creek Fire. An out-of-control blaze nearly the size of Rhode Island — 50 percent larger than last year’s record-breaking Mendocino Complex Fire in California — it has jumped rivers with ease, blackened the rain with soot and colored sunsets as far away as Britain.

06/11/2019 10:45 AM
Severe Flooding Prompts States Of Emergency, Leaves 3 Dead In North Carolina
Severe flooding persists as waters continue to rise in the southeastern United States. The flooding forced hundreds from their homes, caused travel disruptions and damaged property early this week. Western North Carolina is among the regions hit the hardest by the storms. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper held a press conference to address the flooding across the state Monday afternoon. “Over the weekend, we saw rains that had a serious impact on our state that we will feel for several days,” Cooper said. “Several counties received as much as 12 inches of rain.” According to Cooper, over 80 swift water rescues have been performed so far.