Hurricane Ian and its aftermath are wreaking havoc in the Caribbean and Florida. While the situation is developing rapidly, Ian has moved through Florida after initially making U.S. landfall as one of southwest Florida’s most intense hurricanes in history. It produced catastrophic storm surge exceeding 10 feet in certain locations, destructive winds packing maximum sustained winds of more than 140 mph and relentless rainfall.
The economic impact of the storm will be felt by businesses and individuals across Florida and the southeastern United States for some time. Many businesses have and will continue to suffer direct damage to property and lose income due to the resulting interruption of their operations, but many other businesses are also likely to lose substantial income due to evacuation orders, disruption of utility service and disruption of the operations of key suppliers or customers. Florida is home to many businesses in the real estate, retail, hospitality, senior living, distribution and entertainment sectors that may face significant exposures to their operations.
Businesses should examine their insurance policies closely and not indiscriminately accept coverage denials premised on flood exclusions, or other excluded perils.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida’s historic landfall on the Gulf Coast, and the subsequent destruction in several states in the south and along the Eastern seaboard, damage to life and property is still being assessed.
Hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents are still without power, hampering rescue and recovery and endangering the health and welfare of the local population, including hospitals crowded with COVID-19 patients.
New York City subway and rail systems have been halted due to flooding, and public transportation and infrastructure has been impacted up and down the East Coast. Tornado damage and record flooding have been reported in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York and New England.
Blank Rome’s interdisciplinary Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Team (“SWERT”) has developed the following resources for those in the path of the storm, or with business interests in the affected regions, which we encourage you to share with your contacts via e-mail and/or social media:
Please share this information with anyone who has been impacted by the storm. These resources and many more can be found at our website at blankrome.com/SWERT.Our team stands ready to provide assistance on FEMA and insurance issues to individuals and businesses who are preparing for, or are impacted by, this events.
For additional information, please contact:
Alan Rubin, Co-Chair, Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Team John E. Heintz, Co-Chair, Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Team Jared Zola, Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Team
As the 2020 severe weather season continues unabated, our thoughts are with those dealing with multiple historic wildfires in the western states and on the West Coast, as well as with those awaiting the landfall of Hurricane Sally in the Gulf Coast tomorrow. The long-duration hurricane is expected to cause historic flooding and extremely dangerous storm surge. In addition, the National Hurricane Center has issued advisories on five tropical cyclones over the Atlantic basin; this ties the record for the greatest number of tropical cyclones in that basin at one time.
These unprecedented events are forcing evacuations, and may cause widespread damage, business interruption, and travel disruption for a large part of the country for days and weeks to come.
Blank Rome’s interdisciplinary Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Team (“SWERT”) has developed the following resources for those in the path of the wildfires and the storms, or with business interests in the affected regions, which we encourage you to share with your contacts via e-mail and/or social media:
Please share this information with anyone who has been impacted by the fires. These resources and many more can be found at our website at blankrome.com/SWERT.Our team stands ready to provide assistance on FEMA and insurance issues to individuals and businesses who are preparing for, or are impacted by, these events.
Like the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season before it, the 2018 season brought devastating storms to the United States. A prime example: One of the most powerful hurricanes on record to hit Florida’s Panhandle wreaked havoc in October 2018 and left a trail of devastation in its wake as it weakened to tropical storm status but still brought large-scale destruction to southeastern states.
Hurricane Michael made landfall on October 10 approximately 20 miles southeast of Panama City, Florida, with biblical 155 mph sustained winds, violent waves, and heavy rain. The extent of the damage in Florida is still being evaluated, but it is extensive to the naked eye. Two hospitals were evacuated. Many homes were destroyed, power lines were downed, cars and trucks overturned and destroyed.
It took weeks before roads were cleared and electricity was fully restored. Even once businesses reopened, the storm’s destruction prevented employees from traveling to work. In addition, municipalities reported decreased tax revenues from business closures. The economic impact of storm-related losses for businesses and municipalities combined will be significant. Continue reading “Insurance Coverage for Hurricanes: Insurers May Dispute “Causation””
Insurance for Property Damage and Business Interruption Losses
Businesses and communities throughout Texas and the Gulf Coast are bracing for the impact of Hurricane Harvey that is expected to wreak havoc this weekend. Harvey is unique because it quickly and unexpectedly transformed from what was predicted to be a smaller-scale storm to a Category 2 hurricane—and may be upgraded to Category 3 before it makes landfall. This transformation has left many major businesses and facilities in the storm’s expected path with significantly less time to prepare, and in some cases shutdown operation, than would ordinarily be expected. Continue reading “Insurance Recovery for Losses Related to Hurricane Harvey”