Tag: Hurricane Damage

Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey Drops Unprecedented Rainfall and Devastates Texas

When Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Friday, August 25th, very few anticipated the widespread devastation it would cause. Coming ashore just 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, Harvey was declared a Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 130 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service’s Unprecedented Warning

The National Weather Service (NWS) is responsible for monitoring and issuing warnings to citizens during natural disasters. In the early morning of Saturday, August 26th, the NWS issued a warning the agency has never used before. At 1:45 a.m., the NWS issued a Flood Emergency For Catastrophic Life Threatening Flooding across Harris, Brazoria, and Galveston Counties.

Devastation Along The Texas Coast

With such high winds, there wasn’t much along the Texas coast that could withstand Harvey’s destruction. The hurricane also caused storm surges that buried homes and businesses in numerous feet of water. With mandatory evacuations ordered prior to the storm along the Texas coast, many home and business owners didn’t learn how their properties fared until days after the dangerous floodwaters receded.

Harvey’s Legacy Is Relentless Rainfall

It wasn’t just the Texas coast that suffered Harvey’s wrath. Numerous cities father inland, including Houston, saw record breaking flooding. Parts of the Houston area received over 50 inches of rain, more than has ever been recorded in the state’s history. Other areas of Houston received between 20 and 35 inches of rain.

The amount of rain created a devastating problem in the Barker Reservoir and Addicks Reservoir on the west side of Houston. The 70 year old earthen structures could not handle the amount of rain dropped by Hurricane Harvey. This prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin controlled releases of water out of the reservoirs and into Buffalo Bayou. Unfortunately, Buffalo Bayou was already at capacity and the controlled release caused extensive flooding for residents downstream from the dams along the bayou.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers knew that a controlled release from the reservoirs would cause downstream areas to be inundated for an extended period of time. This has proven devastating for home and business owners who live and work near the reservoirs.

Unfortunately, the Addicks and Barker reservoirs were not the only bodies of water at risk of a breach. On Tuesday, August 28th, authorities in Brazoria County announced that a levee breached at Columbia Lakes. Residents were warned to leave the area immediately or to seek the highest ground possible.

For nearly a week, Texans suffered torrential flooding from the storm, but unfortunately it’s still hurricane season; and, just as soon as things start drying up, it rains again.

Picking Up The Pieces After Harvey

Recovering from Hurricane Harvey will take a long time. The widespread flooding will make repairs to property costly and time consuming. Once property and business owners have filed insurance claims, it could take months for repairs to be complete. However, policyholders need to know they have rights, and if an insurance company is unfairly delaying or denying a claim, they can hold the company responsible. The Texas insurance lawyers at Raizner Slania know how devastating natural disasters can be on your business because we have handled thousands of these claims for property owners across the state. If you feel like your claim is being delayed, or if your claim is outright denied or underpaid, contact us immediately.

hurricane damage

Can Your Commercial Insurance Policy Stand Up To The Rest of the Hurricane Season?

It might be mid-September, but the hurricane season is far from over, and if weather forecasters are right, the rest of the season could be pretty brutal for businesses around the Gulf Coast. If your business maintains a commercial insurance policy, you might think you are well protected to weather the rest of the hurricane season, but this might not be the case. Nuances in your policy might actually leave you unprotected, so before the next hurricane hits, make sure your commercial insurance policy is up to the task.

Flood Damage vs. Water Damage

Just because you don’t have flood insurance doesn’t mean some or all hurricane damage isn’t covered by your business insurance policy. Whether your business is far inland from the coast or was in the direct path of the storm, damage should be covered under your policy unless explicitly stated otherwise. How the water enters your home or office can also matter when determining if water damage is covered. If wind uplifting the roof or broken roof fasteners caused water to enter the building, this type of damage would usually be covered. On the other hand, if rising water from storm surge or overflowing waterways entered the building, that might not be covered under most policies. If you’re unsure whether or not your damage is covered under your policy, talk to an experienced wind and hurricane damage attorney to understand your options.

Look Out For Special Deductibles

Sometimes insurance companies treat hurricanes different than other types of natural disasters. Deductibles for hurricane damage can be much larger than deductibles for other types of property damage. It’s important to determine if your deductible changes for “named storms,” and if so, by how much. You don’t want to end up with a deductible you can’t afford.

Consider Business Interruption Insurance

Hurricanes and severe wind won’t just damage your property; they’ll damage your income. Having a business interruption insurance policy can help you obtain compensation for lost income while you work to get your business up and running again.

Know Your Rights

After a natural disaster, insurance companies might try to mitigate payouts through bad faith insurance tactics and lowball settlement offers. The type of loss experienced after a hurricane can be stressful, but obtaining compensation shouldn’t be. If you think your insurance carrier isn’t acting in good faith or is minimizing your claim, talk to a hurricane damage lawyer to protect your rights.

Raizner Slania: Hurricane Damage Claims

If your commercial insurance carrier has denied, delayed, or disputed your business hurricane damage claim, an experienced insurance dispute attorney at Raizner Slania LLP can help. Call us today for a free consultation. We handle all bad faith insurance litigation cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not pay us anything unless we help you recover compensation.