Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Additional Data Highlights Risk and Severity of a Mega-Cat Earthquake Event in the Pacific Northwest

We’ve previously noted the risk of a major earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which runs from Vancouver, Canada to Northern California.  This week, our friends at cited additional recent studies providing further evidence that such an event is a real threat, and particularly so for the major population centers of Seattle and Portland.  Those cities are uniquely at risk of suffering considerable, widespread damage in a mega-quake event.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Texas attorney going to prison for five years for committing insurance fraud and barratry in hail claims

Those of us in the trenches know that there is an epidemic of insurance fraud and barratry in Texas hail claims. Well, there is now undeniable proof. On Friday, well-known hail attorney Kent Livesay appeared in a Tarrant County courtroom and entered a guilty plea to insurance fraud and barratry occurring in Texas hail claims. As part of his guilty plea, Livesay accepted a 5-year prison sentence. YES, THAT’S RIGHT. A Texas attorney has pleaded guilty and is going to prison for five years for committing insurance fraud and barratry in hail claims. A copy of his plea agreement is available here . A 343 page listing of evidence accumulated by the TDI and Tarrant County District Attorney used to support the indictment is available here .

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Property Insurance Coverage Issues Flow from Kilauea

The photos and videos of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano eruption have been mesmerizing and terrifying. Lava flows with unstoppable power devour homes, cars and anything else in their path. Bright red lava pools churn and bubble and launch scorching hot lava “bombs” high into the air. Towers of ash are propelled miles into the sky. 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

2018 Hurricane Season Promises to Pack a Punch

2018’s first named tropical weather system already struck Florida and states near the Gulf of Mexico. Sub-tropical storm Alberto came a full week before the official start of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season and serves as an unpleasant reminder of 2017’s devastating storm impact. Last year’s hurricane season was one of the most active and destructive in recorded history, producing seventeen named storms and causing over $250 billion of damage across the Gulf Coast and Puerto Rico. And, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (“NOAA”) forecast, this year’s hurricane season could be dangerously similar. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Calif. Landslides Prompt 'Efficient Proximate Cause' Rehash

Mother Nature recently reminded California, as she often does, of how cruel she can be. In December 2017, the state experienced its largest wildfire in history.[1] The wildfire, known as the Thomas Fire, burned more than 281,000 acres in Southern California and destroyed more than 1,000 structures.[2] A month later, California experienced its heaviest rainfall in nearly a year.[3] Experts posit that the heavy rains, coupled with the absence of vegetation from the fires, triggered catastrophic mudflows that killed 21 people and caused significant property damage to homes and infrastructure.[4]

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Hurricane Harvey Flooding Continues to Muddy the Waters

As Texas continues to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the extent of the damage Harvey left in its wake is just now being realized. To date, private insurers have seen more than 670,000 property insurance claims resulting from Harvey.[1] The Texas Department of Insurance reports that insurers have paid out more than $4.5 billion in Harvey claims, with the expected number projected to increase to $15.7 billion by the time all claims are reported and settled.[2] Of these claims, more than 354,000 are residential property claims, and around 37,000 are commercial property.[3]

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Houston’s Floodpains (ahem, Floodplains)

When Hurricane Harvey headed for Houston, Texans braced for an expected large amount of rain and heavy winds. What they did not expect was the catastrophic flooding that took place in the city.