If you want coverage for nature’s most common and costly disaster, act now.

By ELIZABETH FESTA

Liz Festa crop

 Published September 09, 2021

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.co

Despite the increasing severity and frequency of flooding across the United States,1

 only a small fraction of homeowners have flood insurance to cover any potential damage. Many may believe their regular homeowners policy has them covered, when it fact it rarely does.https://0e0dcac822e2ca9e77bc94aef23ba149.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Floods are by far the most damaging and costly of natural disasters and are increasing in severity and frequency.
  • Most homeowners are not protected from flood damage through their regular homeowners policy.
  • Flood insurance coverage from National Flood Insurance Program is available through your usual insurance agent.

Why You May Need Flood Insurance

Flooding from rushing water and rain is generally not covered by regular homeowners insurance policies, though they may provide coverage for water damage caused by wind-driven rain, hail, or snow or from a burst pipe. That’s even though floods are the most common and most destructive natural disaster in the U.S. by far, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).https://0e0dcac822e2ca9e77bc94aef23ba149.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

From 1988 through 2017, flood damage in the U.S. cost almost $200 billion, according to the Natural Academy of Sciences, and the increase in precipitation due partly to climate change was responsible for $73 billion, or more than a third, of that. These figures include all property damage, not just homes.2https://0e0dcac822e2ca9e77bc94aef23ba149.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Nonetheless, only about one home in six in the U.S. is insured against floods, according to the reinsurance company Swiss Re.3 That aligns with a 2018 survey by the Insurance Information Institute (III), which found that about 15% of homeowners buy flood insurance, according to Loretta Worters, spokeswoman for the organization.https://0e0dcac822e2ca9e77bc94aef23ba149.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Are You at Risk of Flooding?

Homeowers in high-risk flood areas with government-backed mortgages are required to have flood insurance. Some private lenders may also require it regardless of where you live. For most homeowners, however, it is entirely optional, leaving it to them to assess the risk and whether it is worth insuring against.4

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) publishes flood maps for some areas to indicate their relative risk of flooding. However, critics charge that the maps are outdated.5 Indeed, more than 20% of claims made to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) originate outside areas considered to be at high risk, according to the insurance commissioners group.

Today, even if you live in an area with only low-to-moderate flooding risk, it’s worth considering flood insurance, the NAIC says. Floods can happen almost anywhere with enough rain and backed-up sewers. You don’t necessarily need to live near a body of water, as September’s Hurricane Ida dramatically demonstrated.

Just one inch of floodwater can result in $25,000 worth of damage, the NFIP warns. According to the III’s Worters, the average flood claim is about $56,000.

New York’s Department of Financial Services has a disaster and flood resource center for residents who need assistance now.

How to Obtain Flood Insurance

Flood insurance policies are primarily available through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is managed by FEMA. The agency suggests consumers contact their current homeowners insurance agent, who can then arrange for the insurance.

There are also some fledgling private flood insurers, but the market is dominated by the federal government’s program.

If you don’t have an insurance agent, the NFIP suggests going to FloodSmart.gov/flood-insurance-provider or calling the NFIP at 877-336-2627.  

Prospective buyers should be aware that there’s a 30-day waiting period to buy flood insurance, unless they are in the process of buying a home.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

S. Florida is the most expensive, difficult & complicated Insurance in the country. When opportunities arise, you should look at them closely. A carrier has opened up in our market place and probably only for 4-6 months at best. The coverage is awesome & the carrier is A rated. Not every home qualifies, but if you have no claims in the last 5 years, you are off to a great start. Please send us your current renewal declaration pages & the most recent wind Mitigation & 4 point Inspections so we can determine your opportunities. Quotes only take 30 minutes to do. Don’t miss the boat and stay in Citizens & eventually be depopulated to a carrier who will drop you 3 years later anyway. Please call USAssurance at 833-USAssure. We have access to every carrier in Florida, but only 10-12 are available in S. Florida so this makes options so much more important to every consumer.

By Patrick Wraight

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

I’m finding it difficult to write an insurance piece about the recent collapse of the Champlain Towers Condominium. Before I dive into the insurance aspects, I have to recognize the human part of this tragedy. When those parts of the building fell in, the lives of every resident of the condo’s 136 units were changed.

Not only were their lives changed, but in the days to follow, the residents of similar structures around the state of Florida were wondering if they would be next. When you look at any of those buildings, they look similar. Many would have been built in the same year, or near the same year, as Champlain. Even if they were newer construction, how could they be sure that the same thing wouldn’t happen?

In and among the human side of this story, is the insurance side. It’s not just about a condominium association’s property policy. It’s about the individual unit owner’s policy.

It’s about the liability policy. It’s about the association directors and officers (D&O) policy. Who knows, possibly even the individual board members’ unit owners’ policies (for their liability in the situation). Between those who survived and those who didn’t there will be life insurance and health insurance policies impacted as well. The insurance cost of this event is potentially catastrophic.

Property

Let’s deal with the property first. There’s no doubt the property was damaged. We could see that. We will look at a sample association’s policy first, and then a sample unit owner’s policy. For this discussion, we are using forms created and put out by ISO.

As a condominium association, they should have a property policy that’s specific to associations. What’s specific to them is the way that coverage applies. Not to get too technical here, but a condominium association is a particular sort of joint ownership of property. Each unit owner buys their unit, essentially the space that they occupy as their dwelling. As a unit owner, they also buy into the association and become a part of it. The association then owns the real property, the buildings and the land.

The association then insures the building as covered property on their policy. Assuming that the association has coverage for the building, we then have to ask the policy what are the covered causes of loss? The coverage form will tell us two things.

A. Coverage

We will pay for direct physical loss of or damage to Covered Property at the premises described in the Declarations caused by or resulting from a Covered Cause of Loss.

3. Covered Causes of Loss

See applicable Causes of Loss form as shown in the Declarations.

This is where the question of coverage gets a bit dicey. If the condo were in over 40 other states, I’d be inclined to say that the most likely causes of loss form would be the CP 10 30 Causes of Loss – Special Form or some derivation of it. But in Florida, it’s almost as likely that there is a CP 10 20 Causes of Loss – Broad Form or worse attached.

Let’s just work from the place where the insured may have had the CP 10 30 or comparable causes of loss form attached. Since we are pretty sure that a collapse happened, we need to see what this form tells us about collapse. I’ll spare you some of the policy language because the first place we see a mention of collapse is under the second list of exclusions in the CP 10 30 (see CP 10 30 10 12, page 4 of 10, B.2.k.). The one piece of that exclusion that needs to be called out is in its exception.

This exclusion, k., does not apply:

(a) To the extent that coverage is provided under the Additional Coverage, Collapse; or

(b) To collapse caused by one or more of the following:

(i) The “specified causes of loss”;

(ii) Breakage of building glass;

(iii) Weight of rain that collects on a roof; or

(iv) Weight of people or personal property.

This gives us a couple of possible solutions to the question, is there coverage. We will look in a moment at the additional coverage for collapse, but we need to look first at the possibilities under “b.” The first possibility sits with those “specified causes of loss.” Without reading that specific part of the form, the specified causes of loss is a list of causes of loss and I would argue there was no evidence of before the collapse occurred. You’ll find the definition of specified causes of loss in the definitions section and see for yourself.

The rest of the list under “b” seems unlikely. There was no evidence that building glass happened before the collapse. We have heard that work had recently been done on the roof, but that would seem to remove the possibility of the weight of rain collecting on the roof, which leaves the weight of people or personal property. That seems unlikely unless there’s clear evidence of a recent significant shift in the number of people residing in the building.

You might say that the building should have been designed to hold the weight of the people and property that could be expected for the number of units in the building. That’s true, except that the building was built in 1981. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 1980, 15% of Americans between 20 and 74 were obese. In 2018, 42.8% of Americans were obese. That’s in the neighborhood of 30-40 extra pounds per adult. I doubt that it was a true contributor, but I can’t say that it totally isn’t.

Getting back to the additional coverage for collapse, we find that the collapse must be caused by a limited number of underlying causes. If you want to see all of them, look at CP 10 30 10 12, page 7 of 10, D. Additional Coverage – Collapse. Here are the specific causes that seem to potentially apply.

Building decay that is hidden from view, unless the presence of such decay is known to an insured prior to collapse; …

Use of defective material or methods in construction, remodeling or renovation if the abrupt collapse occurs after the construction, remodeling or renovation is complete, but only if the collapse is caused in part by: … a cause listed (above)

Here’s where it gets really sticky because by many reports there was evidence of building decay in the underground parking garage. There have been reports that people who lived there knew that there was concrete and rebar that had decayed significantly. There have also been reports that the association board was made aware of some critical repairs and renovations that needed to be done well before the collapse happened. This brings into question two parts of this coverage. Was the building decay hidden? If it was, did someone know (or should they have known) about the decay?

It would be hard to guess that the board didn’t know about the crumbling concrete and rebar that people had noticed, but as someone observing from afar, I can’t say definitively whether the association did or didn’t know. Remember that the association policy is issued to the association entity, not to any one individual so we have to determine what did the association know and when in order to make a real determination of coverage.

We haven’t even walked into the question about whether there was coverage for the remaining part of the building. That part of the building that was demolished to prevent it from causing additional property damage as Tropical Storm Elsa approached Florida.

The short answer is that the association policy should have an endorsement attached to provide coverage for ordinance or law coverage (CP 04 05 Ordinance or Law Coverage), which provides the loss in value of the undamaged part of the building and the cost of demolition of the undamaged part of the building.

Personal Property

One would hope that the people who only lost their homes and personal property were insured on their own HO 00 06 – Homeowners 6 – Unit-Owners Form. This provides coverage for the personal property and certain building property within the unit. Dive into the form and you will find a similar additional coverage for collapse. It includes very similar language as the association’s causes of loss form does.

This is important for those who lost their homes because they will need two critical coverages from their insurance policy. They’ll need coverage for their personal property and they’ll need coverage for loss of use of their unit because they can’t use it and they need a place to live. A potential issue arises in the way that the collapse coverage is written.

For the purpose of this Additional Coverage – Collapse, abrupt collapse means an abrupt falling down or caving in of a building or any part of a building with the result that the building or part of the building cannot be occupied for its intended purpose.

This Additional Coverage – Collapse does not apply to: a building or any part of a building that is in danger of falling down or caving in; a part of a building that is standing, even if it has separated from another part of the building; or…

We insure for direct physical loss to covered property involving abrupt collapse of a building or any part of a building if such collapse was caused by one or more of the following: … [the list is very similar to the list that we already looked at and the same issues apply, so we’ll leave that to you.]

I bring this section up only because I see the possibility that one might make the argument that the standing part of the building did not collapse and therefore no collapse coverage would apply. This determination would make it so that the residents of that part of the building would not receive any payment for the loss of their personal property that they were not able to retrieve from their unit. It would also limit their payment for loss of use of their unit due to the actions of a civil authority (that condemned the building and ordered the rest of it demolished) to two weeks of additional living expenses.

For my part, since a part of the building did collapse and that collapse did make the rest of the building uninhabitable, that’s enough to trigger coverage for the personal property and additional living expenses for those whose units did not collapse. Even if that’s an overly broad interpretation, it’s times like this when a few insurance companies can make a statement that they’re willing to interpret their policies broadly when it makes sense. It seems like the human thing to do.

What about all of the other issues out there? That’s a good question. So far, there has been more than one suit filed against the association by residents and families of residents that were impacted by the building collapse. This is going to be a big problem that will take more time and space to completely unravel. The suits will extend beyond their commercial general liability policy and likely into their D&O policy (if there is one). None of this fully deals with the human issues at play. People are grieving. People are traumatized. We can only hope that the insurance piece of this puzzle plays out so people are helped.

About Patrick Wraight

Patrick Wraight, CIC, CRM, AU, is director of Insurance Journal’s Academy of Insurance. He can be reached at pwraight@ijacademy.com

Part 1 of 2: From additional living expenses to lost income coverage, review what’s next as cleanup efforts are underway.

By Christine G. Barlow, CPCU

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

While officials are trying to restore power as quickly as possible, they warn that it may take weeks for power to be restored. Generators are particularly helpful in providing temporary power and air conditioning. FEMA has sent 200 generators to Louisiana and more are expected. (Credit: Steve Helber/AP)

Hurricane Ida has moved through the country, leaving downed trees, flooded areas and other debris in its wake. And this is just the beginning of the story. Many have evacuated, and the storm left 1 million residents of Mississippi and Louisiana without power. Areas of New York have been flooded, and there has been flooding throughout the path of the storm. Central Park received 7.1 inches of rain, and Newark, New Jersey, received 8.4 inches.

Average temperatures in Louisiana and Mississippi range in the 80s and 90s, with heat indexes in the high 90s, which has caused the National Weather Service to issue heat advisories. While officials are trying to restore power as quickly as possible, they warn that it may take weeks for power to be restored. Generators are particularly helpful in providing temporary power and air conditioning. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has sent 200 generators to Louisiana and more are expected.

 PRINT EMAILSeptember 1, 2021 by Noor Zainab Hussain and Carolyn Cohn

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Hurricane Ida Could Cost Insurers as Much as $18B: Industry Experts

 PRINT EMAILSeptember 1, 2021 by Noor Zainab Hussain and Carolyn Cohn

Insurers are bracing for a hit of about $18 billion from Hurricane Ida in the United States and the Caribbean, catastrophe modeling company Karen Clark & Co (KCC) said on Wednesday.

The number, closer to the lower end of the initial estimates given by insurance analysts while the storm was still raging earlier this week, is the first from one of the industry’s major risk-modeling experts.

KCC said $40 million worth of the insured loss would be in the Caribbean and the rest from wind and storm surge losses in the United States.

Sponsored by A.M. Best

Hurricane Ida made landfall in the United States on Sunday as a Category 4 storm, after sweeping ashore from the Gulf of Mexico, flooding wide areas under heavy surf and torrential rains.

Insurance experts had earlier in the week estimated $15 billion to $30 billion in claims from Hurricane Ida, but cautioned the figure could be higher, in part because of pandemic pricing that has pushed up the cost of lumber and labor to rebuild.

The wide-ranging estimates, based on models that track the storm’s severity and path, are still likely to be far less than the $87 billion in claims from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when adjusted for inflation, according to experts.

Ratings agency Fitch said losses from Ida will likely surpass those from winter storm Uri at $15 billion and Hurricane Laura – the costliest insured catastrophe event of 2020 – at $10 billion.

KCC said that its data showed Ida tied with the Last Island Hurricane in 1856 and Hurricane Laura in 2020 for the strongest maximum sustained winds at landfall in Louisiana.

Its forecast includes damage to privately insured residential, commercial, and industrial properties and automobiles, and excludes boats, offshore properties or losses that come under the U.S. National Flood Insurance Program.

Analysts from UBS said the fallout from Ida would hit Swiss Re and Lancashire’s earnings per share hardest, by 32% and 30% respectively, while Hannover Re and reinsurance industry leader Munich Re would be the least hit.Copyright 2021 Reuters. Click for restrictions.

By Rachel Bowie |

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

The #1 Thing Every Homeowner Overlooks When Shopping for Home InsuranceROSSELLA DE BERTI/GETTY IMAGES

Extreme weather is becoming the norm, and its impact is more far-reaching than many expected. (Just look at the recent and multi-state devastation from Hurricane Ida.) Still, when something like flooding occurs, most homeowners assume they’re covered for it with their insurance policy. Buyer beware, says Sean Harper, CEO and co-founder of Kin Insurance, a new data-first, direct-to-consumer home insurance company that uses top-notch AI to better assess and price risk, especially as it relates to climate change. How come? Because flood damage is one of the number one things *not* required in your normal policy. 

Wait, flood insurance isn’t a part of my standard policy? Per Harper, even in states like Florida, damage from flooding is not included in your normal, everyday homeowner’s policy. In other words, you have to ask for it to be added on. “It’s really weird that insurance companies require insurance against fire, insurance against hurricane, but they don’t require insurance against flooding,” Harper explains. (Earthquake coverage is another thing not commonly included in your policy, he adds.)ADVERTISING

The devil’s in the details. According to Harper, there are some parts of the country where they do require flood insurance, but that’s only if you’re living within a FEMA-designated flood zone. The problem is—and we see this daily with extreme weather events—there are a lot of places that flood. “In fact, 80 percent of all flood damage happens outside a FEMA-designated flood zone,” Harper says. “More places are flooding due to sea levels rising and increased rain, but the other issue is that communities will actually lobby to not be included in a FEMA flood zone because it has an impact on their real estate prices. That makes the issue somewhat political since those lines haven’t been redrawn recently.”

The bottom line. Most people really should have flood insurance, Harper says. If you’re unsure, call and ask about your situation and be sure you know exactly what your policy covers. (For example, what parts of your home are covered should flood damage occur? Your basement? Your garage?) After all, the more you know.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

The flash flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida could rack up huge bills for people whose homes were submerged — and they may not be insured properly for the damage

Floodwater surrounds vehicles following heavy rain on an expressway in Brooklyn, N.Y. as the remnants of Storm Ida swept through the area. Home owners may be unpleasantly surprised to learn that their home insurance policy doesn’t cover flood damage. ED JONES/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
  • Email icon
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Linkedin icon
  • Flipboard icon
  • Print icon
  • Resize icon

Listen to articleLength8 minutes

As the remnants of Hurricane Ida wreak havoc across the Northeast, it’s yet another reminder of the need for adequate homeowner’s insurance — but many homeowners could be in for a rude awakening about what their policy actually covers.

Hurricane Ida already had battered Louisiana and Mississippi as a Category 4 storm — wiping out entire towns and causing record amounts of damage, dollar-wise — before it barreled across the rest of the country. On Wednesday night, the storm’s remnants poured a record amount of rain across New Jersey and New York, causing devastating flash flooding across the region.

Ida isn’t the first storm this hurricane season to create chaos, including in parts of the country seldom struck by tropical storms. Henri made landfall in August in Rhode Island, carrying sustained wind speeds of 50 mph. That storm came less than a week after Tropical Depression Fred made landfall in the Florida Panhandle. Both cyclones brought heavy, sustained rain and caused flash flooding in many areas.

Unfortunately, many homeowners may not have the proper insurance in place to cover any damages that resulted from these storms. A 2020 survey from insurance comparison site Policygenius found that 53% of homeowners mistakenly believed that floods are covered under standard home insurance plans.

Other research suggests that only 10% of the flood risk nationwide is insured by the National Flood Insurance Program, with communities of color and lower-income households less likely to have the vital financial protection.

Here’s what homeowners need to know about home insurance and hurricanes:NOW PLAYING: The Road to Regulating Crypto

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.478.1_en.html#goog_681875584about:blankabout:blankhttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.478.1_en.html#goog_1685193080https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.478.1_en.html#goog_399460765Visit our Video Center

What a standard home insurance does — and does NOT — cover

Some natural disasters are commonly covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy, including wildfires and hail storms. But other catastrophes are never or rarely covered under a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. The latter generally fall into two categories: floods and “earth movements.”

The first category comprises disasters caused by rising water, which includes everything from floods caused by extensive rainfall and hurricane-induced storm surges to dam failures and tsunamis. “Earth movements” include disasters such as earthquakes, landslides and sinkholes.

Whether a standard policy covers damage related to a hurricane depends on what caused the damage. If a leaking roof leads to water damage because of the rainfall during a storm, it will be covered by the standard plan. But if a storm surge leads to flooding, then the standard policy won’t apply.

‘If it rains where you live you should consider flood insurance.’— Scott Holeman, media relations director at the Insurance Information Institute

In these cases, homeowners will need to have flood insurance. Some homeowners are required to have flood insurance because of where they live. If a home is located in a specified flood zone, for example, mortgage companies typically require that the owner purchase a flood policy. But people outside of known flood plains shouldn’t rule out the extra coverage.

Mastering Your Money | September 28 & 29 | 1PM ET

Examine money and finance in the new normal. Join MarketWatch and experts to explore the market, social and economic forces affecting your investments, career and family finances.REGISTER NOW

MarketWatch on Multiple devices

For instance, a clogged storm drain could result in localized flooding during a bad storm, even if the neighborhood isn’t in a designated flood zone. Flood insurance would be needed to cover any resulting damage.

“We like to say if it rains where you live you should consider flood insurance,” said Scott Holeman, media relations director at the Insurance Information Institute, an industry trade group.

Flood insurance isn’t the only specialized insurance plan a homeowner might need in the event of a hurricane. “Although wind damage from hurricanes is generally covered, it’s common for insurance companies to exclude it from coverage in areas susceptible to tropical storm damage,” said Pat Howard, property and casualty insurance expert at Policygenius, an insurance comparison site.

In some states, you need a hurricane deductible

Every insurance policy includes a deductible, which is the amount that a homeowner must pay before their insurance plan kicks in and reimburses them for any expenses or damage incurred. Depending on where someone lives, though, there may be two deductibles at play.

“Policies in coastal states typically include two deductibles: a percentage deductible, for damage caused by hurricane or tropical storm winds; and a fixed-dollar amount deductible, for all other types of damage,” Howard said. This is the case in 19 states — Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia — plus the District of Columbia.

A hurricane deductible goes into effect once a hurricane or tropical storm is named by the National Weather Service or the National Hurricane Center. At that time, insurers typically institute moratoriums to prevent people from purchasing new policies until after the storm has passed and dissipated.

The deductibles generally range anywhere from 1% to 10% of the home’s insured value, with higher rates being more common in areas at a higher risk of being hit by severe storms.

“While it could become expensive, it gives you a chance of recovering from a potentially devastating storm,” said Danielle Marchell, public relations manager at insurance comparison site The Zebra. “For example, if you own a $250,000 house and have a 5% deductible, you’ll pay up to $12,500.”

What to do if you can’t find coverage

In states like California and Florida, the frequency and resulting devastation of extreme weather events has risen considerably as a result climate change. Given the potential for such large property losses, insurance companies have begun to pull out of some of these areas to protect their bottom lines.

That can leave homeowners high and dry — and without insurance. Still there are options for homeowners having trouble finding a provider who will serve their area.

Some companies — known as surplus and excess lines insurers — specialize in filling in these gaps for traditional insurers, Howard said, and could be an option in hurricane-prone places.

“The other option is a Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan, a last-resort insurance program for residents who are unable to find coverage with a standard insurer,” Howard added. “Most states have some version of a FAIR Plan, which is essentially an insurance pool that every insurer contributes to.”

Residents must go to their state’s department of insurance website to apply for these plans in most cases.

Plan in advance so claims are successful

If you already have the insurance policies you need, you’re not necessarily out of the woods. It’s important to take the right steps to be able to file a claim successfully and quickly if disaster ever does strike.

“We encourage everyone to have what’s called a home inventory,” Holeman said. “And we also encourage people to look at that list every year and think, ‘Did I do anything — did I make any additions or did I downsize?’”

What should go into that inventory: For starters, if you did undertake any renovations, keep an itemized tally of the cost of those improvements so you can know what you would need to pay for to rebuild.

Keeping records of home improvements and belongings will help to file claims in the event of storm damage.

The inventory should certainly include a list of any pricey items such as jewelry or electronics. But it can go down into the nitty-gritty details, including more run-of-the-mill possessions like clothing and furniture.

“Most companies have an app that you can do, so it helps it prompts you through taking pictures or keeping track of things somehow,” Holeman said.

If possible, it’s best to do this inventory before taking out a policy so that you can more accurately determine how much coverage you need, to avoid having too much or too little. Keeping any pictures or records in a safe place will come in handy when you go to file a claim, so keep those along with any other items in your financial go-bag.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Insurance companies are not as interested in S. Florida & older roofs. What is an older roof these days to an Insurance carrier? Flat roofs, 10 years, Shingle 15 & Tile 25 or less in many cases.

The Insurance carriers want people to start taking care of their own home so they should not have to when storms come & everything needed to be replaced & the owner never did things to protect their own home?

4 Point Inspections will soon be required at 15 years by Citizens & Most carriers will follow suit. Why put your clients at risk by not doing one?


Another Issue are the Famous RCE’s. Costs have increased & so has the coverage on your home. Your current policy may cover you for 400K, but in a new policy , you will likely need 500K or close to it.

Carriers are non renewing for reasons like this so be happy when you get a renewal & don’t complain about the rate. You can try to adjust coverages in some cases so ask an expert.I hear too often that Inspectors are giving Insurance advice?? Why would anyone believe that? Please let us do a class for your next team meeting by reaching out to us. I also offer a 3 hour CE class for Realtors approved by the DBPR called ” Don’t let Property Insurance affect your closing.”

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

A federal appeals court Friday affirmed a jury award in favor of an Axa SA unit in litigation largely related to a Hurricane Irma claim.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta affirmed the Orlando, Florida, jury verdict in favor of Axa unit Indian Harbor Insurance Co. in a lawsuit filed by an Orlando real estate firm, SB Holdings I LLC, according to Friday’s ruling in SB Holdings I, LLC v. Indian Harbor Insurance Co.

The firm had sought $292,230.28 in connection with an August 2017 pipe leak, for which the insurer had paid $100,000, and an additional $2.3 million claim for a roof replacement and interior damages related to September 2017’s Hurricane Irma, according to court papers.

In upholding the November 2020 jury verdict in the insurer’s favor, a three-judge appeals court panel said SB Holdings had contended the district court erred by denying its motion to compel arbitration and allowing the case to proceed to trial.

Under Florida law, appraisal requirements in an insurance contract, which the coverage in question required, are treated as arbitration provisions, the ruling explained.

This was not a matter to be arbitrated, the appeals panel said.  Florida courts have held that, when an insurance policy includes an appraisal requirement, any dispute regarding the amount of covered loss is a matter to be determined by an appraisal panel, “but a challenge to coverage itself remains a matter ‘for determination by a court,’” it said.

The district court did not err in refusing to compel an appraisal because Indian Harbor “has maintained throughout this litigation that there was no covered loss,” it said.

“Second, regardless of whether there was a covered loss, Indian Harbor also defended on the grounds that SB Holdings failed to comply with its post-loss obligations under the policy. This too was a coverage question for the court, not an amount-of-loss question that would have required an appraisal,” it said. 

The panel also affirmed the lower court’s decision to prohibit two witnesses from offering their expert opinions.

Attorneys in the case did not respond to requests for comment.

In January, a Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. unit prevailed in litigation against a construction company over compensation for damage to a condominium caused by Irma.                                                                                                   

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Global reinsurers’ underwriting performance will continue to improve in 2022 as premium rate increases take hold, with further rate hikes expected as a result of higher catastrophe losses, continued low interest rates and mounting inflation concerns, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report.

Nevertheless, concerns remain about how future underwriting results will be affected by deteriorating loss-cost trends, rising social inflation and litigation costs as well as the pace of the global economic recovery, said Fitch in its report titled “Global Reinsurers: Mid-Year 2021 Results.”“Some of the largest price increases were in cyber reinsurance at 15%-40%, even for loss-free renewals,” Fitch noted. “Capacity is limited and very selective as reinsurers digest a recent sizable jump in ransomware claims.”

Non-life reinsurance net premiums written grew by a substantial 18.5% during the first half of 2021 on higher premium prices and demand, Fitch said, basing its calculations on the 17 reinsurers it monitors.

While reinsurance rates continued to harden in H1, pricing momentum slowed in 2021 following more than two years of improving rates, the report said. Fitch noted, however, that price increases are likely to continue at the January 2022 renewal, although at somewhat reduced high single-digit/low double-digit levels, as rate adequacy is approached.

However, the report said that European property rates could be poised for an uptick in 2022, given recent increased catastrophe losses in the region.

“Some of the largest price increases were in cyber reinsurance at 15%-40%, even for loss-free renewals,” Fitch noted.

“Capacity is limited and very selective as reinsurers digest a recent sizable jump in ransomware claims. Reinsurance demand is significant, with nearly 40% of cyber risk reinsured, and growing with rising cyber attacks.”

Current pricing is still inadequate in the face of rising catastrophes, said Fitch, noting that global re/insured natural catastrophe losses were a manageable $40 billion in H1, up from $35 billion for the same period in 2020 and above the $33 billion 10-year average (2011–2020) of insured losses in H1.

However, July flooding in Europe could add $8 billion to catastrophe losses in H2 2021, with potential additional losses from the active Atlantic hurricane season, the report went on to say.

Florida Renewals

Pointing to the June/July 2021 Florida renewals, Fitch explained that reinsurers offered more capacity and better pricing to the higher-quality accounts at the expense of poor performers.

“Lower layers that have been hit more frequently in recent years priced up much more than remote upper layers that were not affected by losses,” Fitch explained. “Reinsurers reduced their overall Florida exposure, particularly to the vulnerable Florida specialist companies.”

Casualty reinsurance rate increases at the mid-year 2021 renewals were similar to January 2021 and should continue to rise into 2022 as rates are generally not exceeding loss trends, the report said.

“Primary rate increases continue to drive reinsurance pricing, with cedents increasing retentions and switching to excess of loss from quota share to keep more of the profitable business,” it continued. “As a result, reinsurers are paying 1-3 points higher ceding commissions up to the mid-30s percent to access this business.”

Thus far, renewals largely have not taken into consideration pandemic-related losses, but this could change in 2022 as more clarity is developed around the ultimate losses, although communicable disease exclusions remain widespread in property reinsurance treaties, Fitch continued.

Fitch said that non-life reinsurers saw considerable year-on-year improvement in H1 2021 underwriting results, shifting to an underwriting gain as pandemic-driven losses subsided. The 17 non-life reinsurers monitored by Fitch posted an aggregate reinsurance calendar year combined ratio of 94.5% in H1, down 11 percentage points from 105.9% in H1 2020, which included $6.1 billion of COVID-19 pandemic-related reinsurance losses, or 11.3 percentage points of earned premiums. (Combined ratios below 100% indicate underwriting profits).

Fitch expects underlying combined ratio improvement to persist into 2022.