The (temporary) home of practical progressives

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hurricane Insurance

No political stories really piqued my interest today, except George Allen continuing his idiotic attempts to explain away the racial slur he made against a young Webb campaign worker. So I want to talk about a big non-political news story.

Today, a federal District Court judge ruled in a case where two victims of Hurricane Katrina (Paul and Julie Leonard) had sued Nationwide Insurance to cover the damage caused by the winds and flooding of Katrina. The judge ruled that they could be compensated for damage directly caused by the wind, awarding them a bit over $1200 to that end. The total damage to the Leondards' home was claimed to be over $130,000, meaning that the Leonards will get a bit less than 1% of the money they'd need to cover the damage to their home.

Now here's the most bizarre part of this to me:
The lawsuit argued that a Nationwide insurance policy bought by the Leonards in 2004 purported to provide full coverage for any damage typically caused by hurricanes.

I obviously haven't read their insurance policy. However, I'm running under the assumption that their policy did cover "hurricane damage," or else I can't imagine this case even being heard by a federal judge.

Assuming that's the case, what kind of hurricane insurance policy excludes damage caused by wind and flooding?? Last time I checked, those were the two biggest threats from a hurricane. If not wind and water, then what exactly does the policy cover? Do the clouds of a hurricane have to literally touch someone's house in order for an insurance company to agree that their policy covers the damage? I'd bet that if a Katrina victim had only flood insurance without a hurricane policy, the insurance company would argue that the flood policy doesn't cover hurricane damage. It the ultimate catch-22.

Flooding is the primary cause of damage in hurricanes. Having a hurricane-related insurance policy is absolutely pointless without hurricane-related flood damage being included. It would be like having a health insurance policy which doesn't cover infectious diseases.

The Leonards' attorney is claiming a moral victory since the court did award them money for wind damage, but I hope that doesn't mean he isn't going to appeal this decision.


Blogger Gary Sartori said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:57 PM

Blogger Gary Sartori said...

Again, the screwing of America rears its ugly head. I've lived through three hurricane. I was fortunate enough not to have suffered much damage. I saw the utter devestation caused by Katrina, and the feds response to it. In all, this has been the most monumetal failure at all levels ever. A lot more heartbreaks are in store for these poor people.

8:02 PM

Anonymous Las Vegas said...

Unfortunately, almost NO private insurance company insures flood damage. The basic rule is that if the water comes from above (like rain), then it is covered. Also, if the wind rips off your roof (a common risk with a hurricane) then that is covered. However, if water comes from the side (like a river/flood) then it is NOT covered. The only place (to the best of my knowledge) to get flood insurance is from the federal government, is from the "National Flood Insurance Program."

Right or wrong, I would be shocked if their policy did not apply these same rules.

10:44 PM

Anonymous CoachingByPeter said...

It is also important to know information about your location's flood risk to have an idea on how much water might get into your place. Info can be avail in floodplain management office or building department. Anyone can be a victim of financial difficulties because of the damages that brought about by flooding.

2:05 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home