Property Insurance News

09/22/2017 12:00 PM
Multiple California Homes Damaged By Explosion¸ Strewn Debris
An explosion at a home in West Hills on Wednesday significantly damaged the structure and scattered debris across a residential block¸ prompting a response from firefighters and police. Two people were inside the single-story house¸ in the 7500 block of Sale Avenue¸ when the blast happened shortly after 3 p.m. No active fire occurred and no one was injured¸ according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Paramedics evaluated three young children at the scene. It was unclear if those children were at the day care center located next door to the damaged house.

09/22/2017 11:15 AM
Allstate Estimates $593M In Losses From Harvey
Allstate expects insurance losses of about $593 million in August after Hurricane Harvey left a path of destruction along the Gulf Coast. The initial accounting Thursday follows warnings from other insurers that are tallying the damages from a hurricane season that is nowhere near being over. Allstate’s monthly losses¸ which likely have not been fully accounted for¸ are more than three times the $181 million recorded in July before hurricanes devastated islands in the Atlantic and began to strike the U.S. Harvey made landfall in Texas on August 25. More than half the losses from that storm are related to vehicle damage.

09/22/2017 10:15 AM
Business Interrupted: Hurricane-Damaged Firms Dig In For Insurance Fight
Business owners who are trying to get back on track after hurricanes Harvey and Irma now face a different sort of challenge: trying to recoup lost income from their insurers. Exclusions in the fine print of policies¸ along with waiting periods and disagreements over how to measure a company’s lost income¸ make business interruption claims among the trickiest in an industry renowned for complexity. “I think the whole thing is a rip-off¸” said Thomas Arnold¸ an optometrist in Sugar Land¸ Texas. He said his business¸ Today’s Vision¸ was shuttered for almost five days after Hurricane Harvey struck because nearby flooding kept employees and patients from getting there.

09/22/2017 09:30 AM
Hurricane Irma Victims Could Face Fight Between Insurers¸ Contractors
As homeowners in Central Florida and throughout the state assess damage inflicted by Hurricane Irma¸ many could find themselves in the middle of a tug-of-war between their insurance companies and contractors. More than 452¸000 insurance claims worth an estimated $2.7 billion have been filed in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma so far¸ with more to come. But even before Irma hit¸ state regulators and insurance companies were warning customers about contractors who might push homeowners to sign contracts to get work done quickly.

09/21/2017 12:15 PM
Allstate CEO Calls For Revamping U.S. Flood Insurance System
Allstate Corp’s Chief Executive Officer Tom Wilson on Tuesday called on U.S. lawmakers to overhaul a government subsidized flood insurance program¸ calling for a more streamlined system that does not overburden taxpayers. Allstate¸ the second-largest U.S. homeowners’ insurer based on premiums collected¸ is concerned that efforts by lawmakers and advocacy groups to reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will fall flat. “The flood insurance situation needs to be completely redone¸” Wilson said. Lawmakers are wrestling with how to handle the insurance coverage of homeowners in flood-prone areas.

09/21/2017 10:15 AM
Will FEMA Or Insurance Cover Irma-Related Sinkhole Or Washout Damage?
Across Central Florida¸ the ground is giving way as gaping holes are opening in backyards¸ schoolyards and roadways. The culprits are sinkholes and washouts — and victims wonder if the cause could be the extra water from Hurricane Irma. While the two may look similar on the surface¸ their causes differ — and only official inspectors will be able to tell homeowners with damages if they can recoup costs from the storm’s effects. Sinkholes are natural occurrences caused by the erosion of bedrock over time and can open without provocation¸ experts say. Florida is built on a limestone bed¸ making the state — especially areas of western Central Florida — particularly vulnerable.

09/21/2017 09:30 AM
Puerto Rico In Blackout¸ Hundreds Of Properties Devastated After Hurricane Maria
Torrential rains continued in Puerto Rico early Thursday as Hurricane Maria moved away from the island¸ after destroying hundreds of homes and knocking out power for most of its 3.4 million residents. The storm was approaching the eastern portion of the Dominican Republic¸ on its way to Turks and Caicos¸ the National Hurricane Center reported. Maria’s core was about 70 miles north of Punta Cana¸ Dominican Republic¸ with wind gusts of 110 miles per hour¸ the hurricane center wrote in its 5 a.m. ET Thursday advisory. Maria weakened to a Category 2 storm Wednesday evening¸ but regained major hurricane status by Thursday.

09/20/2017 10:00 AM
Irma Insurance Claims Already Near $2 Billion
With 335¸000 insurance claims representing $1.9 billion in property losses¸ Hurricane Irma already has exceeded the claims and losses from the two hurricanes that pummeled Florida last year¸ the state Office of Insurance Regulation reported Monday. Calculated through Sunday afternoon¸ Irma’s losses easily exceeded the 119¸000 claims and $1.2 billion in losses for Hurricane Matthew and the 19¸700 claims and $139 million in losses from Hurricane Hermine¸ the OIR data showed.

09/20/2017 09:30 AM
Hurricane Maria Hammers Puerto Rico With Force Not Seen In Modern History
Hurricane Maria roared ashore on Puerto Rico on Wednesday as the strongest storm to strike the island in more than 80 years while panicked residents fled to high ground and huddled in shelters hoping to withstand powerhouse winds that have already left death and devastation across the Caribbean. "On the forecast track¸ [Maria] would be the most destructive hurricane in Puerto Rico history¸" tweeted Eric Blake¸ a forecaster at the Hurricane Center. The storm slammed ashore near Yabucoa¸ Puerto Rico at 6:15 a.m. as a Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds — the first Category 4 storm to directly strike the island since 1932. By early morning¸ it was swirling across eastern Puerto Rico.

09/20/2017 09:15 AM
More Than 200 Dead After 7.1 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Mexico
At least 217 people are dead after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake rocked central Mexico Tuesday afternoon¸ hitting on the 32nd anniversary of the biggest earthquake to ever strike the country’s capital. The earthquake caused extensive damage to Mexico City¸ leveling at least 44 buildings¸ including homes¸ schools and office buildings¸ according to President Enrique Pena Nieto¸ who did a flyover of the city Tuesday afternoon.

09/18/2017 02:00 PM
Insurance Drone Operator Donating Service To Expedite Irma Claims Processing
In the devastating wake of Hurricane Irma in Florida¸ roads are damaged¸ trees and power lines are down¸ and houses and buildings have been battered. All of which makes it difficult to get to many sites to review them for claims. That’s where drones can come into play — and one drone operator has offered carriers extra services to assist with getting claims seen and settled faster. Insurtech company DropIn¸ which provides an “on-demand¸ live video platform” for insurers announced this week it would be donating “$2¸000 service hours (equivalent to 100 free claims)” of drone capabilities¸ “so that any insurance company overwhelmed with claims related to Irma and Harvey will be able to use the service … to expedite claims processing.”

09/18/2017 12:30 PM
West Virginia Man Admits To $350K In Fraudulent Claims
Federal authorities say a 36-year-old Kearneysville man has pleaded guilty to mail fraud¸ admitting he filed false insurance claims for more than $354¸000 in 2013 in Berkeley County. According to prosecutors¸ Daniel Lichtman could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250¸000 fine at sentencing. He was accused of making fraudulent business insurance claims for damages to equipment from power surges that didn’t occur. Authorities say he also created false invoices for repairs and used fictitious names.

09/18/2017 11:45 AM
Shortage Of Independent Adjusters Leads To Highest Fees Ever Paid
Independent adjusters in Florida might have their work cut out for them – with numerous Hurricane Irma-related claims being filed – but they look set to be compensated for their hard work with the region’s increased pay rates. Due to a severe shortage of insurance adjusters in Florida¸ insurance companies in the region have been forced to hike adjusters’ rates. The consecutive occurrence of two major natural disasters – Hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida – was largely to blame for the shortage¸ as many adjusters were tapped to help policyholders in Texas first.

09/18/2017 11:00 AM
Agriculture Leaders To Survey Florida Damage After Irma
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is scheduled to survey agricultural damage in Florida from Hurricane Irma. Perdue will visit the state Monday¸ starting in Clewiston. According to a news release¸ he will fly with Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam to view the storm’s impact on crops. Irma dealt Florida’s iconic orange crop a devastating blow¸ destroying nearly all the fruit in some Southwest Florida groves and seriously damaging groves in Central Florida. Other crops were also destroyed.

09/18/2017 10:30 AM
Former Cop Facing Arson¸ Insurance Fraud Charges
A judge Friday denied a bond request from a former police officer accused of¸ among other things¸ plotting to burn down the Stafford County Public Safety Building and attempting to burn the residence of her child’s father in Fairfax County. Cassie Christine Crisano¸ 37¸ of Stafford is charged with multiple offenses¸ including fraud¸ identity theft and attempted arson in Stafford. Prosecutor Tara Mooney said Friday in Stafford Circuit Court that more charges are pending. Crisano¸ a former police officer in Prince George’s County¸ Md.¸ and a former mixed martial arts fighter¸ also was charged Thursday night on an attempted arson allegation in Fairfax County.