Wednesday, September 20th, 2023
Air and water can be devastating if they move fast enough and have enough volume. In a hurricane, you get both moving at speeds starting at 74 miles an hour. Hurricanes are placed in categories depending on how fast they are, with category one being the slowest and category five being the fastest. Category 5 or cat 5 hurricanes have wind speeds of over 156 miles an hour and can come with heavy showers.
Such hurricanes can cause devastation and extensive damage to businesses and their infrastructures. The extent of the damage depends on several factors, including the path the hurricane takes, the area’s vulnerability to hurricanes, and how prepared the business is for such weather events.
Businesses that are destroyed or suffer damage during a hurricane can make property loss claims that can help them carry out the necessary repairs and get back on their feet. So, what kinds of damage can a Category Five hurricane cause?
The most visible damage caused by a storm is structural damage. As the wind picks up, it may rip shingles from the roof or cause it to collapse. Once wind speeds hit Category 5 speeds, we see damage to walls, windows, and outdoor structures like decks and patios. Depending on their structural integrity, structures may be blown away by the wind, necessitating new ones because repairs would not be possible then.
In cases where the structure remains standing, which is improbable, but it happens, the extensive damage caused by the strong winds and heavy showers means the business would have to undertake significant repairs or tear down the building to start over. The result is additional costs that the business can claim from their insurance provider.
Flooding Can Cause Severe Damage
Category 5 hurricanes also come with storm surges and heavy rainfall that can lead to widespread flooding, mainly in coastal areas. However, other areas can get flooded depending on several factors, such as the grade of the land and mitigation measures taken to protect against flooding. Areas can also flood if the flow of water is impeded by structures, such that it flows from the area slowly.
Flooding destroys everything in the flooded area, including equipment, cars, structures, and inventory, leading to massive losses for businesses.
Any buildings that are partially or fully flooded will remain uninhabitable for a few weeks. Business owners have to wait for the flooding to stop and then clean their buildings to get rid of anything the flood water brought in. They then have to dry the building thoroughly to protect against issues such as mold and additional structure damage from prolonged dampness.
Category 5 hurricanes also knock down power lines. Even though that would not have a huge impact on businesses in the hurricane’s path because they are likely evacuated anyway, it can disrupt businesses in the surrounding areas. Widespread power outages like this means affected businesses cannot use devices that depend on electricity.
Additionally, crime often spikes when there is no power, so businesses must also think about protecting themselves from losses associated with theft. They can incur costs associated with putting security measures in place to protect themselves, or ensure they have proper insurance so they are protected from the costs associated with the power outage and any looting that may occur.
Lost Revenue Due to Business Interruptions
All the above – flooring, power outages, and structural damage – can lead to business disruption depending on how long they continue. Businesses can suffer long-term financial losses and must also deal with short-term revenue losses. All of this is on top of the expenses they incur getting their buildings in order and their businesses back up and running.
Business disruptions can also occur due to evacuations before and during a hurricane. Employee safety is crucial, so businesses should evacuate their premises in case of such events, which leads to them shutting down temporarily.
Even in cases where repairs are not required or the business does not need to recover from other damage, employees may be unable to return to work. This happens due to disruption to infrastructure and surrounding transportation networks. The latter compounds the issue further and leads to additional losses.
Category 5 Hurricanes Cause Supply Chain Disruptions
Transportation and logistics networks do not work when a Category 5 hurricane is on the way. Once these networks stop working, whole supply chains are disrupted. As with power outages, the effects of such disruptions are felt by businesses in the immediate and surrounding areas.
Businesses not directly impacted by the strong winds, heavy rainfall, flooding, and other hurricane events might experience delays in receiving essential products and materials. The result is production delays and potential revenue loss.
They may also lose some of their customers who do not receive their shipped products in time and choose to go with a competitor who can ship the products.
Hurricanes Can Cause Data Loss
Businesses collect a lot of data that they use to serve their customers better, enhance their marketing, understand their competition, and much more. Sadly, many businesses do not follow proper data backup policies and strategies and end up storing their data onsite.
Businesses that do this put themselves at risk of losing the data in case of a hurricane. For this reason, all businesses must have off-site data backups in place, and they should also work with specialists to ensure they can recover their data easily.
Businesses Can Pay Higher Insurance Costs
Insurance providers want to make as much money as possible while paying as little as they can get away with. This is why it is common for businesses in areas that experience hurricanes to pay higher insurance premiums than those located in other areas. They are also more likely to face higher deductibles to cover regular payouts.
A category 5 hurricane is the strongest hurricane we can categorize right now, with winds faster than 157 miles per hour. These winds and the heavy rain that accompanies them can cause a lot of damage and cost businesses a lot of money. Businesses that have suffered such damage can make a claim with the help of our insurance claim advocates at Storm Damage, so they can start rebuilding.
You can visit our offices at 200 Lake Morton Drive, Suite 300, Lakeland, FL 33801 to talk to one of our team members about specific concerns or to ask any questions you have.
You can also call us today for a free consultation at (833) 941-7867.
Tuesday, July 11th, 2023
Dealing with the aftermath of a storm can be overwhelming, to say the least. From property damage to emotional distress and even physical injuries, storms can wreak havoc on our lives. That’s why we rely on insurance companies to provide the financial support that we need to recover and rebuild. However, despite paying premiums faithfully, policyholders often find themselves facing unexpected hurdles when it comes to getting their claims approved. In this post, we explore the reasons why insurance companies don’t always pay up, shedding light on the complexities of the claims process and the importance of seeking legal representation.
Ambiguous Policy Language
Insurance policies are notorious for their complex and lengthy terms and conditions. The language used in these policies can often be confusing and open to interpretation. Insurance companies may exploit this ambiguity to their advantage when processing claims. They may argue that certain damages are not covered due to loopholes or exclusions buried deep within the policy language. Without proper legal guidance, policyholders may struggle to navigate these intricacies and get the compensation they deserve.
Undervaluation of Damages
Insurance companies employ adjusters who assess the damages incurred by policyholders. However, these adjusters are often working in the best interests of the insurance company, with the main aim of minimizing payouts. They may undervalue the extent of the damages, leading to inadequate compensation for policyholders. This undervaluation can be especially problematic in the case of storm damage, where the full extent of the destruction may not be immediately obvious.
Time is of the essence when it comes to recovering from storm damage. Unfortunately, insurance companies are known for employing delay tactics to wear policyholders down. Lengthy investigations, repeated requests for documentation, and unnecessary bureaucratic procedures can all contribute to the claims process being delayed. This can be an incredibly frustrating experience for individuals who are already struggling with the physical and emotional toll of the storm.
Denial of Claims
Perhaps the most disheartening situation is when an insurance company outright denies a legitimate claim. Insurance companies may argue that the damage was not caused by the storm or that it falls outside the policy coverage. They may also cite alleged policy violations or technicalities to justify claim denials. For policyholders, this can be a devastating experience, as they may have counted on the insurance payout to start the process of rebuilding.
Proper documentation is essential when filing an insurance claim. However, policyholders often struggle to provide the necessary evidence to substantiate their losses fully. This may be due to a lack of knowledge about the required documentation, or simply being overwhelmed by the situation. Insurance companies may take advantage of inadequate documentation to dispute the validity of the claim.
Conflict of Interest
Insurance companies are profit-oriented organizations. While they do have a legal obligation to honor a valid claim, their own financial interests can sometimes create a conflict of interest. It’s not uncommon to see insurance companies prioritize their own bottom line over the welfare of their policyholders. This can, in some cases, even lead to unethical practices, such as underpayments or unjustified claim denials.
How You Can Increase the Chance of a Payout
Dealing with storm damage and the insurance claims process can be a daunting task, especially if faced with the risk of not getting a payout or being underpaid. Luckily, there are steps you can take to increase the likelihood of a successful payout. Some strategies to keep in mind are as follows:
Understand Your Policy Coverage
The first step in increasing your chances of a payout is to have a thorough understanding of your insurance policy coverage. Familiarize yourself with the terms, conditions, and exclusions of your policy. This knowledge will empower you to assert your rights and make informed decisions throughout the claims process.
Document the Damage
Proper documentation is key when it comes to making an insurance claim. Take detailed photos and videos of all the damage caused by the storm. Capture different angles and perspectives to provide a comprehensive visual record. Plus, it’s a wise idea to make a list of all items that have been damaged or destroyed in the storm, including their approximate value. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be.
Report the Claim Promptly
When it comes to filing an insurance claim, timing is crucial. Report the damage and start the claims process as soon as possible after the storm. Delaying the claim may give your insurance company grounds to suggest that the damages are not significant, or you are not taking the situation seriously.
Keep Detailed Records
Maintain a thorough record of all communication with the insurance company, including dates, names of representatives you speak to, and summaries of conversations you have. This documentation is crucial in case any disputes or discrepancies arise during the claims process. It provides a clear account of the steps you’ve taken and serves as evidence of your diligence.
Obtain Repair Estimates
Get repair estimates from reputable contractors or professionals who specialize in storm damage repairs. These estimates should outline the scope of the necessary work and the associated costs. Multiple estimates can strengthen your case, by demonstrating an expert consensus regarding the extent of the damages.
When to Hire a Lawyer
In the face of storm damage, it’s crucial to take action to protect your rights and maximize your chance of a fair payout. If your insurance company is using delaying tactics, offering undervalued settlements, or engaging any other strategies to avoid paying you the compensation you deserve, speak to our team of experts today.
At Storm Damage, we bring decades of experience to the table and specialize in insurance claims. We have a deep knowledge of storm damage restoration and work tirelessly to ensure you have the best chance of getting the compensation you are entitled to.
Don’t face the challenges of cleaning up after a storm alone – contact our professionals today to guide you through the process, protect your rights, and help you rebuild. Our contact information is as follows:
200 Lake Morton Drive, Suite 300, Lakeland, FL 33801
Call us today for a free consultation on (833) 941-7867.