Property Insurance News

05/29/2020 11:15 AM
Missouri Homeowners See Insurance Rates RIse 76% In A Decade
Missouri homeowners insurance rates have been climbing at a faster rate than most other US states over the last ten years due to the severe weather affecting the region. A new analysis has measured the growth in rates Missourians are paying as 7th fastest in the country. The QuoteWizard analysis measured the Missouri homeowners insurance rate growth at 76 percent across the last decade. “When insurance companies take a loss, they compensate for that loss by increasing rates,” said a research analyst for the company, Adam Johnson. “So when we look at states that are increasing premiums, that’s likely where more severe weather has struck in recent years.” Residents of Missouri’s Buchanan County pay an average of $1,490 per year for their standard coverage, according to the analysis. That said, this figure represents only the home policies. It doesn’t include the flood which is also carried by many residents of Northwest Missouri.

05/29/2020 10:30 AM
The Case Of The Faulty Crouton Dryer
Intact Insurance has convinced an Alberta court that the “faulty workmanship” exclusion applies in a disputed commercial fire claim but the carrier still has to pay more than $600,000 to a bakery, mainly because the judge rejected Intact’s definition of “oven.” Bowness Real Estate Corp v AXA Pacific Insurance Company, released this past Wednesday by the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, arose in 2012 after a crouton-making machine caught fire twice. The end result is Intact was found not to have acted in bad faith, is not on the hook for $8.37 million a bakery claimed in lost profits and two fires ultimately resulted from faulty workmanship in the custom-made house-sized bread crumb toaster. Though the claimant argued at trial it should get $1.4 million because the machine was damaged beyond repair, Justice Bernette Ho ruled the client should only get about $264,000 to cover the cost of losing the machine itself. [That does not include business interruption].

05/28/2020 12:30 PM
Get Ready To Rumble: Insurance Claims Expected To Be Tested In Court
The fight over who should foot the bill for lost business because of shelter-in-place orders is making its way through the courts. Increasingly, business owners are finding allies in states in the fight to have business losses incurred by shelter-in-place orders and COVID-19 be covered by insurance policies. The breadth of claims being filed has the potential to bankrupt even the most capitalized insurance agencies. And even before courts make their rulings in the numerous disputes brought before judges regarding whether shelter-in-place orders qualify for interruption insurance, experts suggest businesses who think they have a claim file sooner rather than later. Attorney Theodore “Tad” Hoppe at the Hoppe Law Group in Fresno encourages businesses that feel they have a claim to not wait to find out if other businesses are getting money. He recently released a memo on business interruption insurance, breaking down some of the barriers to getting claims.

05/28/2020 11:30 AM
Fires, Looting Devastate Minneapolis After George Floyd’s Death
Violent protests over the death of George Floyd broke out in Minneapolis for a second straight night, as businesses were looted and buildings burned. Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said that while the vast majority of protesters were peaceful, there was looting happening as well as “significant property damage” and the “creation of Molotov cocktails.” He later added that the demonstrations in Floyd’s name had been "hijacked" by some protesters and looters engaged in "criminal conduct." Ingebretsen’s, a gift store and meat market that’s been a fixture on Lake Street since the 1920s, was among those damaged. “It’s like a war came through here last night,” said Julie Ingebretsen, the granddaughter of the store’s founders. “Our windows were broken. I don’t think so much taking stuff, but just knocking shelves over, throwing stuff around, rummaging through drawers. It’s just destruction. And it makes me so sad, I can hardly stand it.”

05/27/2020 12:00 PM
Tropical Storm Bertha Makes Landfall, Bringing Heavy Rain To South Carolina And Inland
A tropical storm that could unleash heavy rainfall and produce life-threatening flash flooding made landfall along the South Carolina coast on Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. Tropical Storm Bertha, which packed maximum sustained winds of 50 miles (80 km) per hour, is located about 20 miles (30 km) east of Charleston, South Carolina, the Miami-based forecaster said. Bertha was expected to move inland toward North Carolina and southwest Virginia as it weakens to a tropical depression. “The good news is that it is just 30 miles offshore and is going to move inland during the next few hours, so this is not going to get any stronger,” said Dennis Feltgen, a communications officer and meteorologist at the NHC.

05/26/2020 04:15 PM
Proposed Class Action Lawsuit Filed, Contending "Unforeseen And Unintentional Occurrence" Against BI Policy Exclusions
A Laval area restaurant that says it has lost more than $700,000 in two months as a result of the pandemic is not taking no for an answer from the insurer, who says business interruption coverage does not apply because it’s not a direct physical loss and is citing several exclusions. Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company is named as a defendant in a proposed class action lawsuit filed May 14 in Quebec Superior Court in Montreal by law firm Spiegel Sohmer Inc. Allianz is reportedly relying upon three different exclusions (e.g. no direct physical loss; loss of use or occupancy; contamination) in commercial coverage it wrote for some Canadian restaurants. Allegations that Allianz is in breach of an insurance contract by denying pandemic coverage have not been proven in court. The case is in its early stages, and the court has not ruled on the existence of a class. The representative plaintiff is Restaurant Bâton Rouge Steakhouse & Bar at Carrefour Laval, which claims it has lost $739,000 as a result of its closure Mar. 16. That was five days after the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus to be a global pandemic.

05/26/2020 12:00 PM
French Restaurant Ruling Puts Coronavirus Claims On Global Menu
AXA (AXAF.PA) will meet the bulk of business interruption claims from some restaurant owners in France, it said on Tuesday, after losing a court case seen as a potential precedent for coronavirus-related disputes across the world. A Paris court ruled last week that AXA should pay a restaurant owner two months of revenue losses caused by the virus pandemic. AXA had argued its policy did not cover business disruption caused by the health crisis. Stephane Manigold, the owner of four Paris restaurants who brought the case against the French insurer, told Reuters that since the court decision his team had received calls from Britain, South Africa, Spain and the United States asking for details of his contract and the court’s ruling. “This decision in Paris has a global resonance,” he said. A UK trade body, the Night Time Industries Association, which is also considering action against insurers, told Reuters the Paris case bodes well for their cause.

05/22/2020 01:00 PM
Michigan Residents Assess Fallout From 500-Year Flood, Dam Failure
Residents in central Michigan on Thursday began returning to water-logged homes and assessing the scope of damage left by what Gov. Gretchen Whitmer described as a "500-year" flooding event. The disaster began unfolding on Tuesday after a long period of heavy rain caused rivers to swell beyond anything seen before, which resulted in two dams failing. By Wednesday night, nearly 11,000 people in Midland had been evacuated in less than 12 hours, city officials pointed out. They also called attention to a remarkable outcome from the rapid evacuations: There were no major injuries or deaths reported during the disaster. Whitmer visited the area on Wednesday to assess the damage left after the failures of the Edenville Dam and the Sanford Dam in Midland County. "I think, like everyone, it was hard to believe we’re in the midst of a 100-year crisis, a global pandemic and we’re also dealing with a flooding event that looks to be the worst in 500 years," Gov. Whitmer said.

05/21/2020 01:30 PM
NOAA Forecasts Busy Hurricane Season
Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are predicting an above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. The outlook predicts 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. The climate prediction center is forecasting a range of 13 to 19 named storms, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes, including three to six major hurricanes. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. "As Americans focus their attention on a safe and healthy reopening of our country, it remains critically important that we also remember to make the necessary preparations for the upcoming hurricane season," said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

05/20/2020 12:00 PM
Michigan Dam Failures Force 10,000 To Evacuate And Could Leave One City Under 9 Feet Of Water
Rapidly rising water overtook dams and forced the evacuation of about 10,000 people in central Michigan, where the governor said one downtown could be "under approximately 9 feet of water" by Wednesday. For the second time in less than 24 hours, families living along the Tittabawassee River and connected lakes in Midland County were ordered to leave home. The National Weather Service on Tuesday evening urged anyone near the river to seek higher ground following "castastrophic dam failures" at the Edenville Dam, about 140 miles north of Detroit and the Sanford Dam, about seven miles downriver. The Tittabawassee River was at 30.5 feet and rising Tuesday night — flood stage is 24 feet. The river rose another four feet by Wednesday morning, to 34.4 feet in Midland. According to the National Weather Service, the height has set a new record for the river, beating the previous record of 33.9 feet set during flooding in 1986.