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.
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.
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.