Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Zelle Hosts CAT-Law Webinar Week

Managing Insurance Claims in the Wake of Catastrophes
July 22-26, 2019

Zelle LLP invites you to join us for a week of webinars featuring insurance topics that are of critical importance to adjusters and insurance professionals. This series will cover managing insurance claims in the wake of catastrophes. All webinars will be offered free of charge and 1.0 of CE credit will be offered to attendees. These courses have been approved for CE credit in the following states: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Latest Arkansas Floods Will Test The Already Vulnerable National Flood Insurance Program

President Trump recently declared the flooding throughout the Gulf Coast a National Emergency and pledged federal resources, including FEMA, to assist with the recovery efforts. All the while, one of the linchpins in flood-related national disaster preparedness – the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”) – faces a disaster of its own.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Texas Legislature Passes Two Important Bills Prohibiting Waiving of Deductibles and Expanding UPPA Prohibition to all Contractors

The 86th Texas Legislative Session came to an end over the weekend. We are pleased to report that the Texas Legislature passed two very important bills that we have worked on for many months.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Puerto Rico’s New Requirements for Property Insurers: Financial Reviews & Disaster Response Planning

In response to the extremely active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, the governor of Puerto Rico enacted several bills that amend or introduce new provisions to the Insurance Code of Puerto Rico, 26 L.P.R.A. § 101 et seq., including provisions regarding additional civil remedies against insurers, as well as new requirements for insurers, surplus carriers, and micro-insurance providers.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 intends to increase disaster preparedness

As referenced in our recent CAT-Law post on the Catastrophic Losses of 2018, at the end of 2018 Congress passed the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 (DRRA) in an effort to improve the nation’s overall capacity to respond to large-scale disasters. The DRRA reflects lawmakers’ concern that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) alone was ill-equipped to respond to large-scale disasters, which appear to be occurring with increasing frequency and severity since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Notably, 2017 and 2018 brought Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma in rapid succession, as well as massive wildfires in California and elsewhere.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Puerto Rico’s Newly Required Expedited Payment Process for Property Insurance Policies

In our recent article addressing property insurance in Puerto Rico, we discussed the new appraisal rules for Puerto Rico property insurers that the governor of Puerto Rico enacted in response to the extremely active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. The governor also enacted five other bills that amend or introduce new provisions to the Insurance Code of Puerto Rico, 26 L.P.R.A. § 101 et seq., including provisions regarding expedited payment requirements, additional civil remedies against insurers, as well as new requirements for insurers, surplus carriers, and micro-insurance providers.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Catastrophic Losses of 2018

Last year, the United States experienced the top three largest natural catastrophes in the world with overall losses. The three most significant events were the California Wildfire, Hurricane Michael, and Hurricane Florence. The United States sustained 14 significant weather- and climate-related disaster events in 2018. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”), the overall damage from weather-related catastrophes and climate disasters reached approximately $91 billion.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Cyclone Idai Highlights Insurance Needs and Opportunities in Developing Economies

When Cyclone Idai made landfall in the east African countries of Mozambique, Madagascar, Malawi, and Zimbabwe earlier this month, it claimed hundreds of lives, cut off electrical power to millions, damaged or destroyed schools, hospitals, and businesses, and drove innumerable families from their homes. Flooding nearly submerged Mozambique’s fourth-largest city, Beira, a port that serves as a gateway to inland areas of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. The damage is so severe and widespread that Idai ranks among the most devastating cyclones in history.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Return of the Bomb Cyclone

A year after a series of “bomb cyclones” struck the United States as reported by my partner Seth Jackson last year, the “bomb cyclone” is back in the news as part of large winter storm that wreaked havoc across the United States earlier this week. As a result of the most recent “bomb cyclone,” it was reported that nearly 650,000 people were without power and more than 80 million people were under high wind advisories.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

New Lessons from Oroville

Climate Change Creates Evolving Risks for Dam and Reservoir Systems


Two years ago this month, communities along California’s Feather River braced for the worst when the primary spillway at the Oroville Dam failed, and rising waters in the Oroville Reservoir overtopped the dam’s emergency spillway. Catastrophic failure was averted, but in the wake of that crisis, my colleague Dan Millea and other experts urged that the near miss should be a wake-up call about the need to inspect other dams to detect risks of similar failures. At the same time, climatologists speculated about how climate change may have contributed to the incident. Two years later, there is still no precise answer to that question, but experts agree that climate change is altering the environmental stresses for which dams have been designed in the past. Today we urge insurers to consider how climate change creates new and evolving risks to dams and reservoir systems, and the potential impact on the risks they insure.

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Thursday, January 31, 2019