After swelling to a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic – the first to do so in nearly a decade – Hurricane Matthew pounded Florida’s Atlantic coast with Category 4 winds on October 7, 2016 before exacting its toll further up the Eastern Seaboard. Multiple news outlets have reported that the economic impact from Hurricane Matthew in the United States is likely to approach $6 billion, while one estimate from Goldman Sachs put the total losses as high as $10 billion.
Of the $10 billion in losses estimated by Goldman Sachs, $4 billion to $6 billion is expected to be covered by insurance. This includes damage to personal property, homes and businesses, as well as business interruptions. A report published by USA Today notes that 90 percent of insured losses from Hurricane Matthew are likely the result of wind damage, with the remaining 10 percent attributable to storm surge.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Matthew was the twelfth weather disaster to cause more than $1 billion in the United States in 2016. This is the second-most of any year on record.
Types of Hurricane Losses Covered by Insurance
For individuals and businesses that suffered losses in Hurricane Matthew, securing compensation under their insurance policies should be a top priority. The challenges of dealing with insurance companies are often magnified in the wake of a natural disaster, but these companies remain under a legal obligation to handle claims promptly, in good faith and in accordance with the terms of their customers’ policies.
Types of losses that are typically covered by insurance include:
- Damage to your home, including damage from wind, rain and storm surge
- Damage to items of personal property located within a covered home
- Damage to business premises and property
- Damage to vehicles (typically under a “comprehensive” coverage policy)
- Business interruptions due to building damage (“basic” or “extended” coverage) or other issues (“contingent” coverage)
Of course, your specific coverage will depend upon (i) the policy(ies) you have in place, and (ii) the specific coverage options you selected. As a result, following a hurricane, it is critical to make sure that you understand the terms of your policy so that you can seek appropriate coverage from your insurer.
What to Do After Hurricane Matthew
If your home or business was damaged in Hurricane Matthew and you are still struggling to secure payment from your insurance company, there are steps you can take to help enforce your rights. To learn more, read Dealing with Your Insurance Company After Hurricane Matthew, and feel free to contact Saavedra | Goodwin for an initial consultation.
Are You Struggling to Secure Payment from Your Insurance Company After Hurricane Matthew?
If you own a business or live in the Fort Lauderdale area and are struggling to secure payment from your insurance company for hurricane damage, our attorneys can help. To learn more about your rights, and to find out what we can do to enforce the terms of your insurance policy, call (954) 767-6333 or request an appointment online today.