It’s been over ten months since Hurricane Maria, but the entire island of Puerto Rico is still struggling with recovery. Unfortunately, nothing can stop the 2018 hurricane season and Puerto Rico has already been tested by one tropical storm early on in the season.
Meteorologists closely watched Tropical Storm Beryl because of its path toward Puerto Rico. On Saturday, July 7, 2018, the National Hurricane Center issued its first warning about the storm. While tropical storms are not always cause for concern, Puerto Rico remains extremely vulnerable after Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Hurricane Maria caused significant damage to the island’s infrastructure, and as a result thousands of Puerto Ricans remain without power now, even almost a year later. To make matters worse, many Puerto Ricans don’t currently have homes that can stand up to hurricanes and other storms. Many roofs are still covered by plastic tarps and some buildings still have unrepaired major structural damage, including missing walls, as the insurance industry has been slow to make necessary claims payments.
Despite ten months of effort, Puerto Rico still has a long road to recovery. Damage to the island’s roads and highways, in addition to its power grid, is still creating huge barriers to recovery. The biggest obstacle to Puerto Rico’s full recovery from Hurricane Maria has been the slow response from insurance companies to pay out on legitimate claims. Without receiving insurance claims payouts, property owners don’t have the money to begin repairs. The slow action from insurance companies has actually violated Puerto Rican insurance law, and in response the Commissioner of Insurance, Javier Rivera, issued a whopping 2,587 violation orders to six different insurers. These violation orders also came with over $2 million in fines. Unfortunately, the fines have not helped speed up recovery.
Heading Into Hurricane Season
Because Puerto Rico remains extremely vulnerable, the 2018 Hurricane season could cause further devastation. Puerto Ricans have the legal right to have their insurance claims handled in a timely manner, but insurance companies are simply refusing. The only way to force an insurance company’s hand is to file a bad faith insurance lawsuit. With the help of an experienced insurance attorney, policyholders can get what they are rightfully entitled to under their policies.
Raizner Law Now Helping Hurricane Maria Victims
Raizner Law is now helping commercial property owners in Puerto Rico with their Hurricane Maria insurance claims. There is no upfront cost for working with us, and our consultations are free. Contact us today to see how we can help.