Property Insurance News

08/10/2020 03:00 PM
Property Damage, Looting In Chicago’s Magnificent Mile
More than 100 people were arrested in Chicago after an overnight fit of violence that appears to have begun with police exchanging gunfire with a 20-year-old man, Police Superintendent David Brown said Monday. This was not a protest, he made clear, dubbing it instead "an incident of pure criminality." Thirteen officers were injured in frays around the city. Mayor Lori Lightfoot called it "deeply painful" and said it had nothing to do with the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble. "You have no right to take and destroy the property of others," she said. "We will not let our city be taken over by criminals and vigilantes, no matter who they are and what they’re doing." Those arrested were charged with looting, disorderly conduct, and battery against police, Brown said. Police will maintain a heavy presence downtown until further notice, he said.

08/10/2020 01:45 PM
Gas Explosion Obliterates Three Baltimore Row Homes, Kills 1
One person is dead, four people were injured and one more person is still trapped under the rubble after a gas explosion in a northwest Baltimore neighborhood Monday morning. The explosion happened in the 6500 block of Reisterstown Road near Labyrinth Road around 9:54 a.m. Three homes collapsed and the force of the explosion and debris blew out windows and doors in at least 16 nearby homes. Baltimore City fire officials said a woman died and at least four others were taken to area hospitals to be treated, some with critical injuries. They are trying to rescue at least one more person trapped and are searching through the rubble for any additional victims.

08/07/2020 01:00 PM
Busy Hurricane Season Likely To Lead To Elevated Claims Costs
DBRS Morningstar has offered commentary on the current US hurricane season, saying that not only will the season likely see a lot of storm activity, but the resulting insurance claims made will “add to insurers’ woes.” The global credit ratings firm cited a report from the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which forecast that the Atlantic hurricane season (which runs from June 01 through November 30) will have above-normal hurricane activity in 2020. Specifically, NOAA anticipates a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season. According to DBRS Morningstar, damage from hurricanes has been on the rise along the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts; the economic damage caused by these large tropical storms has also increased significantly since the early 1990s, the firm noted. Citing data from the National Hurricane Center, the firm said that of the top 50 hurricanes that have caused over $1 billion in damage between 1970 and 2019, the most devastating occurred between 2005 and 2017.

08/06/2020 03:00 PM
More North Carolina Beach Homes Destroyed In Second Hurricane Isaias-Related Fire
Crews responded to a fire involving several homes on Concord Street in Ocean Isle Beach early Thursday morning. Mayor Debbie Smith says three homes are a total loss, and three others are damaged. She says one person was injured and was airlifted to Chapel Hill. Smith says the fire started in a car that got flooded out during Isaias, and was sitting under one of the homes. She says the call about the fire came in at 12:59 a.m. “It was quick,” neighbor Brian McCall said. “It was intimidating and just life threatening. It was instantly. By the time we got to the car and by the time we moved, the house was further engulfed and the flames shooting out.”

08/05/2020 03:30 PM
Unlicensed Renovation Company Accused Of Insurance Fraud
A Roanoke business is being investigated for insurance fraud and stands accused of taking in a lot of money illegally. WFXR obtained court documents in the case. The people who operate HomeFront Renovations are accused of purposefully damaging homes to collect insurance money. And also taking people’s money to perform construction on their homes without the necessary licenses. Co-owners and associates of HomeFront Renovations are accused of conspiracy to commit multiple felonies. According to court documents, the HomeFront bank account had $1.25 million worth of deposited checks. There are at least six customers who had paid for roof and other types of construction but never got it.

08/05/2020 02:45 PM
Isaias Produced Fierce Wind, Devastating Flooding Along East Coast
Whipping winds from Tropical Storm Isaias brought down trees and knocked out power for millions along the East Coast on Tuesday, with hurricane-strong gusts blasting atop Mount Washington in New Hampshire. At least six people were killed as Isaias spawned tornadoes and dumped rain along the East Coast after making landfall as a hurricane in North Carolina, where it caused floods and fires that displaced dozens of people. "One of the most damaging storms the Northeast has ever experienced," Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean said on "Fox & Friends First." Two people died when Isaias spun off a tornado that struck a North Carolina mobile home park. Another person died in Pennsylvania when their vehicle was overtaken by water and swept downstream. Two others were killed by falling trees toppled by the storm in Maryland and New York City, and a sixth person died in Delaware when a tree branch fell on them, authorities said.

08/04/2020 11:45 AM
Torrential Rain, Nine Suspected Tornadoes As Isaias Tracks Into The Northeast
Isaias is racing up the East Coast, dumping between 2 and 6 inches in much of the D.C. region and spawning numerous tornadoes from Central Virginia through Southern Maryland — though the worst of the storm appears to be past us. Tropical Storm Isaias — which made landfall in North Carolina last night as a hurricane with winds near 85 mph — continues to bring a flood threat to millions along the Interstate 95 corridor. Forecasters are still warning of a flood risk in the District, Baltimore and the suburbs, though the storm’s heaviest bands are clearing out of the area and conditions near the nation’s capital should rapidly improve around noon as Isaias’ center crosses over the Delmarva. Here’s what you need to know: It’s (almost) over: Heavy rainfall is wrapping up in Northern Virginia but continues to fall steadily in Eastern Maryland.

08/03/2020 04:45 PM
Court Decision On “Surface Water” In The Policy Exclusion, But Not In The Flood Endorsement
The Co-operators has to pay a Mississauga banquet hall facility nearly $1 million – about double the amount it originally paid on a sewer backup policy – for losses arising from an historic 2013 rain storm, the Court of Appeal for Ontario has ruled. In a decision released July 28, the court overturned a 2019 Superior Court of Justice finding that Le Treport Wedding & Convention Centre Ltd. is only covered for sewer backup and does not also have coverage under a flood endorsement on its commercial policy. The language “surface water” appears in The Co-operators’ policy exclusion for flood coverage, the court observed, but it does not appear in the flood endorsement on the policy. In the endorsement, a flood is defined as “the rising of, the breaking out or the overflow of any body of water, whether natural or man-made and includes waves, tides, tidal waves and tsunamis.” The discrepancy in the language used to define a “flood” featured prominently is the debate about whether The Co-operators’ flood endorsement applied in addition to the $500,000 policy limit it paid for sewer back-up. Le Treport was one of many Greater Toronto Area (GTA) properties affected by a huge rainstorm early in the evening July 8, 2013. The western GTA got about 90 mm of rain in an hour, costing the industry about $1 billion in insured damage.

08/03/2020 04:15 PM
Apple Wildfire In Southern California Is Barely Contained
A huge wildfire in mountains east of Los Angeles that is Southern California’s biggest blaze so far this year was still raging Monday, with thousands of people forced to evacuate their homes. The blaze in Riverside County, among several wildfires across California, had consumed more than 41 square miles (about 106 square kilometers) of dry brush and timber since it broke out Friday evening, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. As of Monday morning, it was just 5% contained and the fire along with coronavirus precautions made for added stress at an evacuation center, said John Medina an American Red Cross spokesman. Volunteers used to “close contact” with evacuees have had to adjust their approach during a time of social distancing, Medina said. “I mean, that’s part of the recovery of a disaster, is that you have to show warmth and love and caring. And that’s hard when you’re standing six feet away..."

08/03/2020 11:30 AM
Isaias Could Become Hurricane As It Pulls Away From Florida
Isaias was forecast to be near hurricane strength as it approached the Carolinas Monday, just a day after bands of heavy rain from the tropical storm lashed Florida’s east coast. The U.S. National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Surf City, North Carolina, in its 8 a.m. advisory. Tropical Storm Isaias had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and was expected to strengthen later Monday, forecasters said. A Category 1 hurricane has winds of 74 to 95 mph. Over the weekend, Isaias brought heavy rain and flooding to Florida as officials kept a close eye on the storm while dealing with surging cases of the coronavirus. The storm had weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm on Saturday afternoon, and its most damaging winds remained offshore.