The Washington Post recently published an article entitled: “Cold, heat, hurricanes, and tornadoes: The year in weather disasters”
This headline could also lead one to think about the direct impact on the insurance industry, as it was also stretched to the extreme in 2021!
This extreme stretching phenomenon took the shape of numerous property damage insurance claims! A portion of these claims were denied, delayed, or underpaid! This left many policyholders unsure of what to do next.
The good news is, there is a solution! But first, let’s take a look back at the weather events that defined 2021.
Note: During the writing of this blog, 2022 has already made its mark, with a crippling snow storm, that struck the Southeast and Mid Atlantic regions on Monday. Buckle up for the coming weather events of 2022!
2021 Weather Review
The Washington Post recently stated in their article published on Dec. 15th that,”
Vicious wind and tornadoes put a deadly exclamation point on the end of an extraordinary year for the extreme weather in the United States.” Note: This was true up until that point, referring to the multistate catastrophic tornado event that hit: Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Mississippi.
The Washington Post article continues the year end weather review telling us that, “Earlier in 2021, Texas froze and Seattle roasted. Parts of California flooded, burned, then flooded again.”
The article continues stating, “A hurricane that slammed Louisiana was so waterlogged that its remnants inundated New York City. A blizzard hit Hawaii”
The article also states that, “The weather was wilder than usual this year, and the reasons vary, experts say”
Mother Nature Was Not Finished Yet…
Referring back to the weather “exclamation point” of the year comment in the Washington Post article (which was true and accurate at the time the article was published). The true year end “exclamation point” came fifteen days later on Dec. 30th, when over 100 mph winds viciously spread a Colorado wildfire, destroying over 1000 homes and a number of businesses in the Boulder County area, and surrounding communities.
Colorado Triple Threat- Wind, Fires, and Snow
Colorado Public Radio News recently headlined an article stating that “Some of the 100,000 Xcel customers affected by three pronged disaster, still waiting on power, gas service.”
The CPR article states, ”On Sunday Excel Energy’s Colorado president Alice Jackson walked through the company’s recovery effort after the back- to- back- to-back disasters that occurred Dec. 30.”
CPR reports, “As we move through the next several days, it’s going to be continued hard work for all of us,” Jackson said.
The CPR report continues with Jackson’s interview stating that,“She described winds that began on 9:00 a.m. Thursday- with gusts of 105 mph clocked by midday- as the first event. Then came the fires, which spread rapidly in the wind and destroyed nearly 1000 homes in a matter of hours. Then on Friday, a heavy winter storm not only hurt fire investigation and response efforts, but left thousands bracing for freezing temperatures without electricity or gas.“
Insurance claims of damaged properties have already begun. The estimates have not yet been stated on what the economic impact to the region is, but it will surely be in the billions.
We have published several earlier blogs on the insurance process, specifically as it relates to fire damage with commercial and residential properties. By the way, the Marshall Fire of Boulder County has been deemed as the most destructive Colorado wildfire in recent history!
As reported on in earlier VLF blogs, when there is a catastrophic event of this magnitude, sometimes insurance companies will try to mitigate their losses by certain time tested tactics.
A good policyholder attorney will hold the carrier’s feet to the fire when claims arise. It is well documented that insurance carriers can sometimes implement various tactics when trying to lessen their financial exposure to claims, including: underpayment, denial, and the delay of claims. This is no surprise, given the record number of increasing weather events in the last several years (as documented in earlier VLF blogs).
This is why it is important to consult with a reputable policyholder attorney when filing a claim, and especially if your claim has been denied, delayed, or underpaid.
The Voss Law Firm, P.C. has been protecting policyholder’s rights for the past sixteen years, recovering billions of dollars in settlements for our clients.
Feel free to call, or email today for a free consultation on your file.
We are 100% contingency fee based. No recovery, no fee.
Todd Farr- Director of Client Relations.