Property Insurance News

05/24/2022 05:05 PM
Uprooted Trees, Crushed Buildings After Severe Storms Across The Carolinas And Texas
Severe storms from Texas to the Carolinas damaged homes and left thousands without power throughout the afternoon and evening hours on Monday. In South Carolina, an apparent tornado touched down in Chesnee, ripping roofs from homes and destroying buildings. Emergency crews urged residents to keep clear of the area due to the excess damage within the city. Large trees were uprooted and snapped in half along county roads. The National Weather Service will conduct a damage survey on Tuesday for the reported tornado in Spartanburg County. As storms moved into North Carolina, residents filmed ominous clouds floating over Union County neighborhoods.

05/24/2022 03:32 PM
NOAA: 65% Chance 2022 Hurricane Season Activity Above-Normal
The US weather service NOAA has just announced its forecast for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, and they are another organisation saying it is likely to see above-normal levels of tropical storm activity, with a 65% chance of an above-normal season in 2022. That would make it the 7th consecutive Atlantic hurricane season with activity levels above the norm, NOAA’s administrator Rick Spinrad explained just now. He said NOAA gives a 65% chance that the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season activity is above-normal, a 25% chance it is near-normal, and a 10% chance it is below-normal. So, it increasingly looks like insurance, reinsurance, catastrophe bond and insurance-linked securities (ILS) interests should prepare for what could be another busy summer hurricane season. Of course, it is always important to note that just because we have an above-normal level of storms, even major hurricanes, it does not necessarily translate into major losses for the insurance and reinsurance sector.

05/24/2022 11:30 AM
At Least 40 Homes Flooded After Water Main Break
It was a wet weekend for many people living in St. Louis Park. A water main break flooded dozens of homes on and around Minnetonka Boulevard. A bad way to wake up. ‘We went downstairs to take a shower this morning, and discovered that there was water coming out of the toilets, backing up from the sewer,’ said Adam Snyder of St. Louis Park. Saturday was spent salvaging. ‘Tried to get out what we could from the basement. And just had to let it keep going,’ Snyder said. Early Saturday morning a 12-inch water main broke, flowing underground through the sanitary sewer. The city of St. Louis Park says the cause is the changing temperature. ‘The city shut off where the water was coming in and got that taken care of,’ Snyder said. But not before an estimated 40 to 45 homes in the three block radius between Quebec and Texas avenues had flooded.

05/23/2022 02:53 PM
Minnesota Auto Shops Swamped With Hail Damage Repairs
Thousands of Minnesotans spent Friday talking with insurance agents. Thursday’s hailstorm caused major damage to homes, cars, and boats. But getting the repairs done at the auto shop may take longer than people would hope. The hail only lasted a few minutes but left lasting damage. ‘Reach out and connect with your insurance agent as soon as you can and get the process started. One of the things people forget to do when they walk out and see the damage to their home and car, they forget to take photos and that can be an important piece in the claims process,’ State Farm Spokesperson Heather Paul said. As of Friday morning, State Farm had received 2,400 home and auto claims in Minnesota. With many auto shops backlogged due to supply issues, appointments could take a while. ‘Right now, we are about a week and a half out so it’s not too bad yet but everyday it’s going to probably grow,’ Dent Heads shop manager Chopper Moone said.

05/23/2022 01:45 PM
Florida Legislators To Focus On Roof Claims, Litigation And Reinsurance During Special Session
Heading into a special session to address the state’s troubled property-insurance market, legislative leaders said late Friday they will focus on issues such as roof-damage claims, litigation and reinsurance. The House and Senate released outlines of bills for the session, which Gov. Ron DeSantis called after lawmakers could not reach agreement on insurance changes during this year’s regular session. ‘I believe the legislation I will file for your consideration during the special session will address the many issues leading to the instability of the current property insurance market in our state,’ Senate Banking and Insurance Chairman Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, wrote in a memo to senators. ‘The proposal balances fair costs and protections for consumers while adding reasonable guardrails for insurance companies against the frivolous litigation and fraudulent claims that drive up rates for everyone.’

05/20/2022 02:48 PM
Dozens Of Abilene, Texas Buildings Burned By Wildfire
High winds, drought conditions and extreme temperatures have caused a series of wildfires in Texas, including one that the authorities on Thursday said had destroyed about 30 structures and burned more than 9,000 acres. The fast-moving Mesquite Heat Fire, just southwest of Abilene, Texas, was 5 percent contained on Thursday afternoon and was one of nine wildfires that the Texas A&M Forest Service was battling across the state, the agency said. In Wilbarger County, in North Texas, the Coconut Fire has burned 25,000 acres and was 20 percent contained, the agency said Thursday. A firefighter sustained burns while battling the fire on Tuesday. The firefighter was treated at a hospital and released, the forest service said. In Taylor County, the site of the Mesquite Heat Fire, the area was facing drought conditions, wind gusts of up to 30 miles per hour and temperatures far exceeding 100 degrees, said Elise Roberts, a spokeswoman for the Abilene Fire Department.

05/19/2022 03:00 PM
Florida Insurance Commissioner Named In Lawsuit
Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier has been named in a lawsuit which alleges that the commissioner violated the law by enabling home insurers to change consumers’ policies. The lawsuit, filed in Leon County by the Restoration Association of Florida (RAF) and home remediation contractor Air Quality Assessors, looks to reverse a recently-enacted policy change. It also named two insurers -- American Integrity Insurance Company of Florida and Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Company -- as defendants apart from Altmaier. The lawsuit claimed that American Heritage sought and received approval for a policy change, which requires policyholders -- or any third party to which policyholders would assign the benefits of their claim -- to agree to take any dispute to mediation and arbitration instead of a court. Should the policyholder or assignee hire an attorney to represent them in the mediation/arbitration, the insurer would not be obligated to pay for the attorney’s fees, even if the policyholder/assignee wins the case.

05/17/2022 02:40 PM
More Than 260 New Mexico Homes Burned By Record-Breaking Wildfire
A monster blaze churning in northern New Mexico for more than a month has blackened enough acreage to earn a place in the state’s record books. Aside from being the largest wildfire currently burning in the U.S., the fire moving over the Sangre de Cristo mountain range is now the largest in the arid state’s recorded history. More than 260 homes have burned and more evacuations were prompted over the weekend as the blaze moved through dry -- and in some cases dead -- stands of pine and fir trees. Huge columns of smoke could be seen from miles away, and fire officials and weather forecasts continue to refer to it as an unprecedented situation. ‘We’re trying to think bigger box, bigger picture," Nickie Johnny, an incident commander from California who is helping with the fire, said about efforts to find places miles ahead of the flames where crews can cut fire lines and mount a defense.

05/16/2022 02:46 PM
Highlights From "Fueling the Flames"
The First Street Foundation has expanded its portfolio of peer reviewed, property specific, climate adjusted physical risk models with the launch of the First Street Foundation Wildfire Model, estimating the risk of wildfire on a property-by-property basis across the United States today, and up to 30 years into the future. This high-precision, climate-adjusted wildfire model provides insights for individual property owners of residential, commercial, critical, and social infrastructure buildings. These results are made available through Risk FactorTâ„¢, the first free source of high-quality probabilistic wildfire risk information at the property level available to the public. The model was developed in partnership with researchers and wildfire experts from First Street Foundation and the Pyregence consortium, including Spatial Informatics Group, Reax Engineering, and Eagle Rock Analytics. This analysis follows the open science approach taken by First Street Foundation for climate-adjusted flood risk.

05/13/2022 04:03 PM
Death Toll Climbs After Derecho Across Midwest, Northern Plains
The death toll has risen to three after storms packing hurricane force winds and at least one tornado tore through parts of the Midwest and Northern Plains Thursday. The latest victim was a 61-year-old woman who died this morning of injuries sustained last night as a massive wall of dark dust and debris was blown into areas around Sioux Falls, South Dakota. ‘In that situation a husband and wife were driving home … and that wall cloud, or the wall of dust and dirt and debris hit them, they slowed down to probably under 5 miles an hour because of the almost zero visibility from the blowing debris and a chunk of wood came through the window of the car," Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstad said at a news conference. In a previous briefing, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem confirmed one person had died during the storms Thursday night. There were also reports several injuries. In Minnesota, where the Kandiyohi Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Friday morning that a man was killed by a large grain bin that blew over in Lake Lillian, about 87 miles west of Minneapolis. A 71-mph wind gust was reported in the area. Crews were heading out this morning for damage assessments.