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Home Hail Damage Insurance Industry Trends ... Texas Policyholders Need to Solve Winter Freeze Claims Now and Prepare for Early Hurricanes

Texas Policyholders Need to Solve Winter Freeze Claims Now and Prepare for Early Hurricanes

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Texas property owners are caught between repairing winter damage, negotiating with with insurance companies, and preparing for projected early hurricane season.

Though a lot of organizations in Texas are still grappling with the consequences from February’s winter storm, hurricane season is right around the corner.

 

NOAA Predicts More Severe Storms, Coming Sooner than Expected

Hurricane season normally runs from June 1 to November 30. But due to the steady increase of early-season hurricanes, NOAA will start issuing regular tropical weather outlooks beginning on May 15 and is considering making that the official start of hurricane season.

As we have seen so frequently over the last several decades, this season is once again expected to become” above-average”, the current prediction: 17 named storms and 8 hurricanes, and 3 of these expected to be “major”.

NOAA Storm Damage Prediction 2021 for Texas Property Owners

 

Caught Between Fixing the Current Damage, and Preparing for Storms Coming Soon

The brief window between winter’s late-season freeze and summertime early-season storms is challenging — many businesses spend the months leading up to storm season becoming ready, and more than a few are still working to repair damage from the winter storm. Not just physical readiness, but the role of insurance plays a huge role in this.

For example, policyholders that suffered damage from the winter storm should have recorded any damage by today so that they can react to “preexisting” damage arguments from future storms. Additionally, building resiliency verification, compliance with any protective shield warranties (e.g., earthen berms) and business continuity plans must be updated.

At precisely the same time, insureds with promises in the winter storm must continue the alteration process. Normally, claims arising from natural disasters tend to center around land damage and earnings impacts.

But many organizations had remarkable cost impacts that proven to be the most important aspect of the winter storm claims, such as skyrocketing electricity bills for industrial customers that had to purchase electricity on the open market to keep their resources in a safe state or healthcare customers that needed to truck in water to take care of patients when Houston’s water supply went. 

Bracewell is helping customers make promises for these prices under “sue and labor” and associated coverage provisions as expenses incurred to safeguard property and prevent losses.

 

What The Texas Courts are Doing and How Property Owners Can Navigate These Turbulent Waters

Texas courts addressing storm claims have permitted recovery for extra security, overtime pay, meal expenses, temporary locations and worker lodging. In essence, costs incurred due to the winter storm could possibly be recoverable where those costs were necessary and reasonable.  Though choice-of-law provisions in property insurance coverages are relatively rare, they have a tendency to default to New York legislation, which also allows recovery of these costs. 

Taking these steps now will make sure insureds are in the best possible place to manage the winter storm behind us and the summer storms ahead.

We are staffing our team aggressively to help property owners get reimbursed for their claims as quickly as possible to get repairs done, and prepared for what is almost huricane season. 

You can talk to one of our seasoned adjusters here to help manage what is going to be an increasingly complex process.

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