The Caribbean has always been home to extreme weather events. The area is ripe for storms and hurricanes that routinely sweep through during every hurricane season. However, not all Caribbean islands are created equal. Some islands have suffered more than others from extreme weather events. The island of Puerto Rico has suffered the most adverse weather events worldwide over the past 20 years.
At the climate summit in Katowice, Poland, the non-profit Germanwatch released The Global Climate Risk Index 2019. The report looked at the resulting economic damages from natural disasters from 1998 to 2017. These natural disasters included “storms, floods, heat waves, etc.” and the economic impact was calculated using purchasing-power parity or PPP.
It comes as no surprise that after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico was region that suffered the most damage from a natural disaster in 2017. Additionally, the report also determined Puerto Rico was impacted the hardest according to long-term indexes from 1998-2017. Puerto Rico has been slammed by number of storms throughout the past 20 years, but none has been quite like Hurricane Maria.
When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, it caused billions of dollars in damage. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, the island was left mostly in the dark. The power grid that supplied electricity to the island was severely damaged in the storm, and it took months to complete vital repairs. Roads, bridges, and other infrastructure also suffered damage, which made it difficult for supplies to be distributed.
To make matters worse, the insurance market in Puerto Rico is mostly comprised of domestic insurers that have reinsured most if not all of their risk with foreign, European based reinsurers. These foreign reinsurers have been extremely slow to act when handling and paying out on claims. Although the government has levied fines against insurance companies for their inaction, many claims still remain open. Policyholders have been forced to try and pay for repairs themselves and many have simply closed the doors of their businesses for good.
Recovering From Hurricane Maria
Policyholders that regularly pay their monthly premiums deserve full coverage under their policies. Foreign reinsurers have no right to slow down or deny recovery to Puerto Ricans. If your insurance company is delaying, underpaying, or denying your Hurricane Maria insurance claim, contact Raizner Law for a free consultation. Our experienced insurance lawyers can help you get the compensation you are rightfully entitled to.