Property Insurance News

07/20/2018 10:00 AM
27 Reported Tornadoes Rip Through Iowa
Several tornadoes tore through Iowa¸ overturning cars¸ flattening homes and leaving people injured. There were 27 reports of tornadoes in the state Thursday¸ CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said. The exact number will be released by the National Weather Service when it surveys the damage. One reported tornado hit a company in Pella town¸ about 40 miles from Des Moines¸ sending at least seven people from Vermeer Corporation to hospital with injuries. The company¸ which manufactures industrial and agricultural equipment¸ had major damage¸ said Vermeer CEO Jason Andringa.

07/20/2018 09:30 AM
Massive Blaze In Chicago Suburbs Renders 48 Condominium Units A Total Loss
Hundreds of people have been displaced by a massive condominium complex fire in northwest suburban Prospect Heights Wednesday. The fire burned in the 800-block of McIntosh Court. Each time firefighters appeared to get the blaze under control¸ flames flared up again. "It seems like it keeps getting bigger and bigger. They’re trying to control it¸ it gets better¸ and then again there’s more fire coming out¸" said Alfred Rubio¸ resident. Prospect Heights Fire Chief Drew Smith said the fire began at about 1:30 p.m. Smith said more than 150 firefighters from 50 departments in the area were working on the fire. It continued to burn into the night.

07/19/2018 10:30 AM
Severe Hail Storm Scar Across South Dakota Visible To NASA Satellite
The damage from the hail storm that pounded western and central South Dakota last month was so severe it shows up on NASA satellite sensors that detect land surface heat. The space agency’s satellites capture the heat signature that shows a light brown area stretching across more than half the state. In some spots¸ the hail scar is six miles wide. The Argus Leader reports NASA research meteorologist Jordan Bell says because hail-stripped areas lack the protection of crops and other vegetation¸ they run hotter than surrounding areas. The first storm swept from southwestern North Dakota into north central South Dakota on June 27. Another storm on June 29 developed over Wyoming and swung into western South Dakota¸ spawning tornadoes and 4 1/2-inch hail.

07/19/2018 09:45 AM
Homes Damaged After Tornado Touches Down In Eastern Connecticut
A small tornado briefly touched down in Ashford during a powerful string of storms Tuesday¸ the National Weather Service said Wednesday. The Norton¸ Mass.-based weather service office sent a crew to check out damage in Putnam¸ Pomfret and Ashford because of reports of wind damage in those areas¸ NWS meteorologists said. “Peak winds were estimated between 80 and 85 mph with an approximate width of 225 yards. The length of the tornado path was about 0.4 miles long and on the ground for approximately 1 minute¸” the weather service said in a statement. The tornado touched down about 4 p.m.

07/19/2018 09:00 AM
Lava From Kilauea ’Collapse Explosion’ Destroys Hawaii Structures
A “collapse explosion” at the summit of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano on Wednesday sent a surge of lava that destroyed structures in an evacuated housing development¸ geologists and civil defense authorities said. The blast sparked by the gradual collapse of the volcano’s crater was equivalent to a 5.3 magnitude earthquake and caused lava to burst from a fissure 25 miles (40 km) east¸ destroying at least one home in Leilani Estates¸ the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Hawaii County Civil Defense said. These lava surges on Hawaii’s Big Island have become an increased concern during the volcano’s 11-week eruption¸ which has destroyed some 712 homes but so far claimed no lives¸ according to the County of Hawaii.

07/18/2018 12:00 PM
Gas Plant Explosion Prompts Evacuations in Austin County¸ Texas
Evacuations were ordered Tuesday in Austin County after explosions and a fire were reported at a gas plant northeast of Bellville¸ officials said. The first explosion was reported about 6 a.m. at the Western International Gas Plant on West State Highway 159. Several other explosions were reported within the hour¸ officials said. "Loud. It’s just unreal. That’s the only word I can think of¸” said Marcy Grimes. She said she was delivering supplies to firefighters near the plant during one of the explosions.

07/17/2018 01:30 PM
How A $395 Gadget Can Prevent A $43¸000 Flood Claim
Amid a wave of sump pumps¸ backwater valves and other methods designed to keep home basements dry comes a new¸ simple way to mitigate flood risk – an e-sensor. George Tsintzouras¸ CEO and co-founder of Canadian water tech company Alert Labs¸ became interested in creating such devices based on a bad experience he remembers as a property owner. “The reason why we started the company is that we actually owned properties that ended up with floods and seeing water damage in them – things that were absolutely preventable¸” Tsintzouras told Canadian Underwriter Friday.

07/16/2018 02:15 PM
Dallas Woman With Extensive Claims History Sentenced For Arson
A Dallas woman with a history of filing 31 insurance claims against a dozen companies got burned when one turned out to be arson. Genevieve Thompson was sentenced this week to 30 years in prison after Dallas Judge Tracy Holmes found Thompson intentionally set her house on fire to collect insurance money. Thompson pleaded guilty to arson and insurance fraud. On June 12¸ 2017¸ the Dallas Fire Department was called to a house fire on Rock Bluff Drive. An investigation found that the fire had been started on purpose. The Texas Department of Insurance Fraud Unit assisted the Dallas Fire Department on the case. Their investigation revealed Thompson had filed at least 15 insurance claims on her home in the 18 months before the fire.

07/16/2018 09:15 AM
Millions Of Court Documents Being Restored After Michigan Flood Damage
Court records were among the Houghton County Courthouse items damaged in the June 17 flood. A vault containing circuit¸ family and probate court records on the basement level was flooded. The county is insured for the loss of the records¸ Administrator Eric Forsberg said at Tuesday’s County Board meeting. Without the hard copies¸ people are unable to get some necessary files if they’ve lost their copies¸ Clerk Jennifer Lorenz said. To change a name on a driver’s license¸ the Secretary of State requires items such as a birth certificate¸ marriage license and judgment of divorce.

07/12/2018 12:30 PM
Future Of P&C Tech Comes Into Focus
In a 2017 report titled “Drones: Reporting for Work¸” Goldman Sachs estimated the addressable market opportunity for drones globally between 2016 and 2020 to be $100 billion¸ of which the insurance claims drone market was estimated to be $1.4 billion. And the report did not address the wider opportunities in personal and commercial property insurance: underwriting¸ pricing¸ risk prevention¸ traditional and virtual claims management¸ fraud detection and product marketing. The report also didn’t cover the use of images from satellites and fixed-wing aircraft¸ including streaming video. Whatever the actual size of the total insurance market opportunity¸ the impact of aerial and drone images in insurance will be enormous.