Property Insurance News

11/25/2020 10:00 AM
Tornado, Severe Storm Damage In North Texas
A tornado hit the Arlington area Tuesday night as a line of thunderstorms pounded North Texas, leaving damage in Arlington and Grand Prairie, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth and local authorities. No serious injuries were reported in the storms. Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth believe a twister hit the Arlington area based on radar data. A survey team will be out Wednesday in the hardest-hit areas. “They will be out to determine how intense the winds were at that time,” said meteorologist Jason Dunn with the National Weather Service in a telephone interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “They also will be out to try and track it and how wide it was.” Dunn said a tornado in November is not rare in North Texas. “We could get a tornado any month of the year here,” Dunn said.

11/23/2020 01:45 PM
These Places Are Bound To Burn And People Keep Moving There
As climate change contributes to ever-worsening fire seasons in the Western U.S., more people are moving to the very areas most likely to burn. Of the 15 counties with the highest risk of fire by 2050, two-thirds have growing populations, according to a new analysis from ClimateCheck, a startup that gives people access to climate data about individual properties. In Placer County, California, near Sacramento, for instance, the number of residents climbed by 7% from 2013 to 2018, despite the fact that the area is tied for the highest fire risk in the nation, the company found. Morgan County, Utah, northeast of Salt Lake City, will also be among the most prone to burning, saw its population increase by 17.5% in the period.

11/20/2020 10:30 AM
A Record Year For Insured Losses From Civil Unrest
The United States is no stranger to periods of often intense civil unrest. From the 1907 “Bellingham Riots” to the fractious tumult of the civil rights and Vietnam era, U.S. history is littered with bouts of violent upheaval. But 2020 appears to be one for the record books. Fueled by a destabilizing mix of police violence, armed confrontations between citizens, protests, riots, and a rampaging pandemic, the United States recorded one of the largest deteriorations on the Verisk Maplecroft Civil Unrest Index over the past year–leapfrogging from the 91st riskiest jurisdiction by the second quarter of 2020 to the 34th by the fourth quarter of 2020. The index assesses the risk of disruption to business caused by the mobilization of societal groups in response to economic, political, or social factors. It includes a spectrum of incidents of unrest, from protests to violent mass demonstrations and rioting.

11/18/2020 12:45 PM
Reno Wildfire Destroys Multiple Homes
A fast-moving wildfire driven by gusting winds destroyed several homes in Reno, Nev., and forced hundreds to evacuate on Tuesday, prompting Gov. Steve Sisolak to declare a state of emergency. The Pinehaven Fire burned an estimated 1,200 acres and threatened as many as 500 homes in southwest Reno before forward progress was stopped, Reno Fire Chief David Cochran said. He said “multiple” homes had been lost but couldn’t say how many pending a daylight assessment on Wednesday. The Reno Fire Department posted photos of firefighters battling the blaze, showing at least two homes engulfed in flames. Meanwhile, the Reno Gazette Journal reported that one of its photographers had seen at least five homes burn. Cochran said teams from fire departments in Reno and California responded to help battle the fire overnight in what he described as “an extremely dynamic situation.”

11/16/2020 10:45 AM
Testing The Waters
The UK High Court of Justice found business-interruption coverage applies to COVID-19-related losses. Will the ripples be felt in the U.S.? Facing an unprecedented pandemic, states and cities across the U.S. issued emergency lockdown orders starting in March 2020, which shuttered hundreds of thousands of businesses across America, costing those businesses an estimated hundreds of billions of dollars. Many businesses will never recover. The year 2020 has been unlike any in our lifetime. Given the massive interruption of businesses in 2020, it is not surprising that policyholders dusted off their business interruption policies to see exactly what it was they were paying for all of those years while never submitting a claim. As a general matter, business-interruption coverage is not for any business interruption, but rather is a form attached to commercial-property policies, intended to cover business interruption caused by property damage.

11/13/2020 11:45 AM
‘Surface Water’ Commercial Coverage Dispute Could Reach Supreme Court Of Canada
A $429,000 commercial property coverage dispute involving overflow from a body of water could reach Canada’s top court. The Supreme Court of Canada announced Nov. 6 that the Co-operators wants to appeal Le Treport Wedding & Convention Centre Ltd. v. Co-operators General Insurance Company, released July 28, 2020 by the Court of Appeal for Ontario. It all began with Canada’s fifth most-expensive insured catastrophe on July 8, 2013, when the western Greater Toronto area got about 90 mm of rain in an hour. One of the affected properties was Le Treport, located in Mississauga, Ont., in a plaza on the northwest corner of Queensway and Stanfield Rd. About 600 metres to the east is Tonelli Creek, which flows south towards the Queensway and then underground south of the Queensway. About half an hour after the rain started, water started flowing west along Queensway into the plaza parking lot and into the banquet hall through the doors. It was also coming in through the ceiling and up through floor drains, Justice Peter Lauwers wrote for the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

11/13/2020 11:00 AM
5.3 Magnitude Nevada Earthquake Felt Widely In California
A 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck a remote area of west-central Nevada early Friday, but was felt widely from Las Vegas to Sacramento, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The tremor hit at 1:13 a.m. with a depth of 3.7 miles about 20 miles southeast of Mina, Nev., a town of about 155 people on U.S. Route 95. The epicenter was about 126 miles southeast of South Lake Tahoe and 160 miles southeast of Reno. Shaking was especially felt across desert communities in western Nevada and in California’s Sierra mountains. Multiple aftershocks have hit since the big quake, including a 4.3 magnitude shaker at 1.29 a.m.

11/13/2020 10:15 AM
Tropical Storm Eta Hits North Carolina With Deadly Flooding
Tropical Storm Eta, which was once a devastating hurricane, is dumping heavy rain on the Carolinas and Virginia. Homes and roads are flooded and bridges have buckled, at least four people are dead and while dozens have been rescued, several remained unaccounted for. The fast rising waters killed at least three people at a campground in North Carolina’s Alexander County, and a boy died in a swollen creek in a different part of the state. More than two dozen were rescued from the Hiddenite campsite, but rescuers were still racing against the clock Thursday evening to try to find two people missing, including a one-year-old baby, both of whom were presumably swept away by flooding. A boy, whose age was not confirmed, died in a flooded creek near his home in Rolesville, The News & Observer reported, citing police. Some parts of the Carolinas saw 3 to 7 inches of rainfall. The heavy rain and flooding that engulfed the state washed out bridges littered with abandoned cars, causing mudslides and road accidents and leaving many families stranded.

11/12/2020 10:45 AM
Tropical Storm Eta Floods Florida Homes, Businesses; 1 Person Electrocuted
Residents of Florida’s central Gulf Coast woke up Thursday to inundated streets and flooded homes after a night of pounding rain and wind from Tropical Storm Eta. The storm made landfall at 4 a.m. near Cedar Key, about 85 miles northwest of Tampa. However, rain bands from Eta began drenching the state long before that. Flooding was reported across Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties. At least one death in Florida has been blamed on the storm. A man in Bradenton Beach was electrocuted Wednesday evening when he touched an appliance in standing water, Bradenton Beach Police Detective Sgt. Lenard Diaz told WFLA. “It was an accident,” Diaz said. “I’m sure he didn’t realize the appliance was plugged in or the appliance was underwater and that’s what happens it’s a scary situation.”

11/11/2020 09:45 AM
Eta Becomes Hurricane, On Track For Florida’s West Coast
Portions of Florida’s Gulf Coast are beginning to feel effects from Hurricane Eta’s outer bands as the Category 1 storm makes its approach toward Florida’s west coast, with winds at 75 mph and the potential for “life-threatening storm surge," forecasters said. A hurricane watch is in effect for Anna Maria Island to Yankeetown, where hurricane conditions are possible within 24 hours, forecasters said. By Thursday, “life-threatening storm surge” of up to 5 feet could occur on portions of the Florida Gulf Coast from Bonita Beach to Steinhatchee River, including Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor, forecasters said. The area is under a storm surge warning. Eta’s tropical-storm-force winds stretch out over 115 miles. Rainfall of 2 to 4 inches, with maximum storm total accumulations of 6 inches, is expected in western and central Florida in the next 48 hours.