Hurricane Florence will affect the U.S. east coast later this week with significant damage to property and resulting business disruption.  Businesses far-removed from the impact zone also will be affected as manufacturing, retail, travel and supply chains, among other industries, are disrupted by the physical damage.  For those in the impact zone, knowing the fundamentals about your property insurance is critical.  For those in remote locations, now is a good time to refresh yourself as well, since post-storm disruptions and losses require prompt notice to insurers and fast action to help mitigate any resulting loss.  A failure on either front could jeopardize coverage.

Continue Reading As Florence Eyes East Coast, Are You Looking At Your Insurance?

On Wednesday, my colleagues Walter Andrews and Katie Miller published a timely article in Florida’s Daily Business Review discussing the availability of insurance coverage for continuing losses suffered by businesses directly and indirectly affected by Hurricane Irma.  The article, titled After Irma: Is Your Business Entitled to Insurance Coverage for Additional Lost Profits?, has equal application to those affected by Hurricanes Maria and Harvey.  As the article explains, continuing business income losses may be covered under common property insurance policy provisions.  Where they are not, the article provides insightful advice for policyholders as they approach policy renewal so they can fill gaps that may exist in their current coverages.  A copy of the article can be found here.

Continue Reading As 2017 Winds Down, Are Lingering Irma, Maria and Harvey Business Losses Insured?

Hunton & Williams’ Insurance Recovery Team Head, Walter Andrews, was spotlighted in an article published in the Houston Chronicle last week regarding insurance for losses from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. While the storms were devastating in their own unique ways – Harvey with extensive flooding; Irma with extreme wind and storm surge – both have substantially impacted local and national businesses.  As Andrews explains, “if you don’t have any customers, or if they can’t access your facilities, you don’t have business.  Many businesses are facing vast amounts of lost earnings during the time it takes to repair hurricane-related damage.” Local business owners facing huge losses have a financial lifeline in the form of business-interruption coverage in their property policies.  Likewise, distant businesses impacted by the storms likely have contingent business interruption coverage that will apply if a business or customer they depend on suffered damage from one of the storms – even if that damage occurred hundreds of miles away from the insured business.

For more information, please visit our Hurricane Insurance Recovery and Advisory center.

In an article published September 12, 2017 in South Florida’s Daily Business Review, Hunton & Williams insurance lawyers Walter Andrews and Andrea DeField explained why it is critical that policyholders act fast to maximize insurance recovery for their hurricane-related losses.  They also provided a checklist to guide policyholders through the claim process.  As Andrews and DeField explain, in addition to providing prompt notice to all potential insurers, policyholders should collect all loss-related receipts and document the damage with photographs.  Good organization of post-loss expenses will help expedite any claim for Extra Expense loss, while photographs will help to avoid disputes over the extent of any physical damage after that damage has been disturbed or repaired.

For more information, please visit our Hurricane Insurance Recovery and Advisory center.

Last week, nearly 200,000 people were evacuated from areas downstream of the Oroville Dam in Northern California. Today, separate recommended and mandatory evacuation orders continue for roughly 50,000 San Jose residents due to rising flood waters along Coyote Creek. Between the Oroville Dam crisis and the torrential storms battering Northern California, California businesses face significant loss arising from the flooding, the threat of flooding, landslides and the like. Fortunately, some of the damage to property and businesses can be mitigated by insurance.

Continue Reading Keeping Your Business Afloat After the Flood

Many communities are breathing a sigh of relief as winter weather kills off a good portion of the Zika-carrying mosquito population – at least in some parts of the US, and at least until next spring.  But dwindling mosquito populations have not diminished business concerns about Zika-related losses.  Since the health effects of Zika may not be apparent until months after birth, businesses in mosquito-popular locales should assess their option to cover the losses caused by Zika, or the mere threat of Zika.  Read my colleagues Walter Andrews, Michael Levine, Andrea DeField’s analysis of this issue in the most recent publication of the Daily Business Review, available here.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called Zika an international public health emergency. The insurance industry is taking notice. Civil authorities have already begun to issue notices, like the Center for Disease Control’s travel notices for areas in which Zika transmission is occurring. As highlighted by Marsh in a recent blog post, the potential for action by civil authorities can create problems for some policyholders.1

Continue Reading Insurance Industry Not Immune From Zika