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Posts Tagged ‘property claims’

Snow removal vital in preventing slip and fall case liablity

snow_ice02In addition to worrying about potential storm damages from this season’s record snowfall, New England property owners need to be aware of a recent decision in Massachusetts case law which changes the way that courts look at weather-related slip and fall incidents.

For many years, Massachusetts courts based decisions surrounding slip and fall accidents in regards to whether the cause of the fall was due to natural accumulation of snow and ice. In basic terms, if the property owner took precautions to remove snow in a reasonable manner, then the law would find in their favor. Read more…

One year later: Lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy

rebuildingJust over a year ago, Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast. The storm killed nearly 300 people, destroyed over half a million homes and cost $70 billion in total economic loss. Insured losses totaled nearly $26 billion, with private insurance companies accounting for 70% of the total. Businesses made up just under half of that 70% leaving many middle-market employers who did not have flood/wind insurance facing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

Below is a summary of key takeaways and lessons learned from Sandy, and should serve as a checklist for industry professionals going forward for handling future extreme storms. Read more…

Potential impact of Oklahoma tornado on property insurance market

oklahomaThe tragedy in Moore, Oklahoma is the latest in a series of massive tornadoes that have ripped through the U.S. in the last two years, causing billions of dollars in losses. While property damage continues to be assessed, insurance companies initially believe this week’s storm caused at least $2 billion in insured losses, based on preliminary estimates from other big tornadoes and analysts at Morgan Stanley. Replacement value of property within a mile of where the tornado struck is around $6 billion, according to AIR Worldwide.

The trend is a major cause for concern among business and homeowners in hard-hit areas who may not be able to afford repairs due to changes in storm policy coverage. Consumer activists say that due to the increase in severe weather and storms, insurers have raised deductibles and reduced coverage amounts, along with other changes to Read more…

Terrorism coverage and understanding TRIPRA

Officials take crime scene photos two days after two explosions hit the Boston Marathon in BostonTwo weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings, questions surrounding terrorism coverage have become a cause for concern for many businesses impacted by the tragedy. Some are confused over whether or not their policies offer protection from business interruption and property losses related to terrorist attacks. Although the event has yet to be determined as an official act of terror, it’s important for businesses to become familiar with the current version of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) (now known as the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, or TRIPRA, of 2007) as well as to review the specific language of their policies.

Following September 11, 2001, terrorism losses were widely excluded from business interruption policies in order to protect insurers from exorbitant costs in the event of future terrorist attacks. In response, U.S. Federal lawmakers passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) of 2002 in order Read more…

Avoiding business interruption losses on campus

December 6, 2012 Leave a comment

flood-smWhile the majority of discussions concerning coverage following Hurricane Sandy have focused on homeowners and commercial businesses affected by the disaster, institutions such as colleges and universities have their own unique concerns and struggles to cope with after a storm. These losses remind us of the need to review and carefully draft policies to guard against future catastrophes, primarily in the case of business interruption losses and other nuances specific to higher education institutions.

Without a doubt, business income losses are very difficult to face and require time to adjust. For those in the higher ed field, the challenges may prove to be even more complicated. The smallest adjustment to a policy can sometimes be the difference between protecting revenue or facing a major loss.  Read more…

Post Sandy snowstorm complicates claims

November 15, 2012 Leave a comment

The post-Sandy snowstorm that hit the Northeast last week caused additional damage for many homeowners and businesses, further complicating the insurance claims process that had already begun the prior week. Snow and wind damages from last week’s nor’easter hit several states including New York and New Jersey,  delaying power outages and worsening road and rail traffic that had not yet been repaired from the effects of Sandy. This means ongoing trouble and further delay in negotiations between commercial policy holders and insurance companies over coverage issues.

Many adjusters were still in the process of identifying losses from Sandy when the second storm hit, making it increasingly difficult to determine which storm caused what damage to properties. Experts say the most significant questions are likely to surround business interruption Read more…

Sandy coverage update: ACC and FEMA guidelines

November 12, 2012 Leave a comment

The latest estimates of insured losses from Hurricane Sandy have reached nearly $15 billion, mostly triggered from flood and wind perils. As insurers face a growing number of claims filed by homeowners and businesses, policyholders should review their policies carefully to check for specific carve-outs and exclusions. Among the most important to note are anti-concurrent causation clauses, (ACC) provisions which allow insurers to deny claims based on excluded causes like flooding, if they occur at the same time as other covered causes, such as wind damage. These clauses, invoked in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, aim to protect insurers from facing greater liability than the coverage they provided, but can leave consumers with little to no coverage and exorbitant costs. There are a variety of formulations of these clauses, depending on the insurer Read more…