Recent hurricane and flooding may spark insurance disputes

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2021 | Insurance Coverage Defense |

In New York and throughout the Tri-State area, weather damage has become a growing problem in recent years. Hurricanes, flooding and other weather-related damage to property might have seemed to be relegated to warmer areas throughout the nation like Florida, Texas and Louisiana. However, the past decade has shown how the weather can be a major challenge to homeowners, renters and businesses in the Northeast. While this is generally viewed from the perspective of those who are making insurance claims for what they have lost, it can also be problematic for insurers and owners who are engaged in a disagreement over coverage and liability with clients.

Hurricane payouts could be $30 billion or more

Recent events and assessments of the damage from Hurricane Ida suggests that there could be between $15 billion and $30 billion in payouts. It could be even more due to the current societal situation raising the prices of materials needed to repair and rebuild. This is not as high as the amount insurers paid after Hurricane Katrina, but it is still hefty. As claims come in, insurers across the spectrum are asking for information from policyholders and using advanced technology to gauge the level of damage that was done not just by rain and flooding, but by wind as well.

Wind damage can be easier to see from the outside as it might have torn roofs from structures, blown out windows and done other damage. Flooding is more complex as insurers must conduct individual inspections and calculate property value before making payouts. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) from FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) are expected to pay for flooding in residential areas. However, businesses generally use commercial insurance and insurers will likely be asked to pay for that.

Insurance coverage disputes are likely as claims are analyzed

Insurance coverage defense could be necessary when disagreements inevitably come up. While insurance is in place to cover people and businesses, that does not mean every claim is valid or disputes will not arise. Companies, landlords and other property owners who are said to be responsible for insurance might not elicit much sympathy after a natural disaster in which people and businesses claim to have lost a substantial amount of property. Despite that, they do have rights. There might be a dispute over a litany of issues. Those who are confronted with these circumstances should have legal guidance to navigate the case and seek a positive result.