Officially, hurricane season began on June 1, 2021. Unofficially, hurricane season kicked off ten (10) days earlier with Tropical Storm Ana, which formed off the southeast coast of Bermuda. 2021 is the seventh consecutive year to have a tropical storm form prior to the official start of the season. Since the official start of the season, we have already had two other named Tropical Storms: Bill, which formed offshore around North Carolina, and Claudette, which formed off the coast of Louisiana.
Experts predict that 2021 will be another above-average hurricane season. Fortunately, experts do not believe that 2021 will reach the historic levels of storm activity seen in 2020. In 2020, there were thirty (30) named storms total, fourteen (14) of which became hurricanes, including seven (7) major hurricanes.
Property insurers are already bracing for the wind, rain, surface water and flooding claims which are bound to emerge. Based on the predicted above-average season, 2021 will likely bring with it a torrent of insurance coverage disputes and related litigation from the resultant storm damages.
Causation disputes frequently arise as a result of hurricane and tropical storm damage. A property may be damaged by both wind, which is covered, and flooding, which is excluded. As such, it is important for policyholders to accurately document their losses to their insurer. Likewise, insurers need to conduct detailed investigations to determine the cause of loss and the extent of the damages resulting from a hurricane or tropical storm.
Horst Krekstein & Runyon will continue to monitor these important issues and report any significant developments. Please contact any member of our firm for more information or inquiries.