June marks the beginning of Hurricane Season and should serve as a reminder to review your personal and business property insurance coverage. The effect of recent Hurricanes on the Gulf Coast generally and Louisiana specifically have been significant with respect to both damages and the insurance covering those damages.
The one year anniversaries of the 2008 Hurricanes are rapidly approaching and disputes with insurers covering the 2008 losses which have not been resolved may be prejudiced if lawsuits are not filed before the one year anniversary of the losses.
The losses caused by the 2008 Hurricanes in South Louisiana will make property insurance renewals more difficult and expensive. Coverage provided by many property carriers is expected to be narrowed and subjected to higher named storm deductibles.
Beginning the renewal process on property coverage at least 120 days in advance of the renewal date is advised to ensure a fair opportunity to negotiate acceptable terms and to avoid unpleasant surprises such as excessive rate increases and non-renewals.
When purchasing property insurance an insured should also remember that Business Interruption Insurance is usually included in property insurance coverage. Business Interruption Insurance comes in many forms and must be specifically purchased in most cases as an additional coverage under a property policy. Understanding the different type of business interruption coverage is important and may be the difference between a company surviving or not surviving a catastrophic loss.
A comprehensive legal review of your insurance programs including your property insurance is recommended on a regular basis.