United States: Hurricane Season: Time To Determine Whether You're Covered For Weather

June 1 brings the beginning of the 2016 hurricane season. These storms have the potential to cause devastating damage for companies who own property such as apartment buildings, hotels, factories, retail outlets, warehouses and office buildings. In addition to any physical damage companies may face, they must also deal with the interruption of business resulting from that devastation. This alert provides proactive steps a company can take before the hurricane season arrives to ensure they are adequately covered should they face any damage or disruption as a result of a storm.

June 1 brings the beginning of the 2016 hurricane season. For the past several years, hurricane activity has been relatively calm, as a result of the effect of El Niño; but the 2016 season may bring an end to this trend. El Niño and its hurricane-suppressing effect are waning as the 2016 season approaches. Although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will not issue predictions of 2016 hurricane season activity until late May, other weather sources are forecasting an uptick in activity. Generally, these commercial sources predict the season will bring 14 to 17 tropical storms. Of those, eight to nine are predicted to reach hurricane force, with three to four constituting "major hurricanes," likely to be at least Category 3 packing winds of up to 130 m.p.h. Predictions vary, but it is likely that three to four of these 2016 storms will make U.S. landfall.

A single hurricane can create horrible devastation, and massive damage, disruption, and dislocation. While the storm may be relatively short-lived, the lingering effects have the potential to cripple or ruin a property, and any business operating from or depending on it. While the damage and destruction that storms cause may be severe and the disruption of business may be significant, the situation can be far worse if insurance protection is inadequate.

The advent of the hurricane season should serve as a reminder to review the adequacy of property insurance protection to avoid getting caught short when you need coverage most. It is reasonable to wait until the weather forecasters say the hurricane is definitely headed your way before you physically prepare your property against the coming storm; however, by then it is too late to make certain that your insurance protection is adequate. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to obtain new insurance or correct deficiencies in existing coverages when the storm is already bearing down on your property.

Reed Smith's Insurance Recovery Group can help clients review their coverages to ensure they are protected from destructive hurricanes and storms. To confirm their insurance coverage is up to the task, clients with property or important business partners in the possible path of these storms should, at a minimum:

  • Review the physical property valuations in their insurance policies to make certain they reflect the current value necessary to protect fully against damage, and to meet any coinsurance provisions in their policies in order to avoid costly penalties.
  • Review their policies to make sure that they have replacement cost coverage, or that they can live with the potentially vastly reduced recovery that an actual cash value or other lesser valuation would entail, even in the event of total destruction.
  • Review the limits of liability of business interruption coverages to make sure they are sufficient to cover anticipated economic losses from business suspension resulting from physical damage to or destruction of the premises.
  • Make sure the deductibles are reasonable and that the provisions explaining how to calculate the deductibles are clear and understandable.
  • Similarly, determine whether any critical business partners on which their business depends to keep operating, have property exposed to hurricane damage. If so, contingent business interruption coverage with proper limits of liability should be explored, so damage to the partner's property, causing idleness of their assets, does not result in significant uninsured economic losses.

This by no means is an exhaustive list, but by making the relatively small effort necessary to evaluate these and other potential hot-button items before a storm hits, property owners can: (1) protect against major uninsured expense of reconstruction of damaged property after the storm passes through; and (2) ensure that enough money will be flowing in to cover overhead and fixed costs to keep the business going even in the event the storm damage causes suspension of business.

In addition to reviewing your policies ahead of a storm, we can help if and when a storm hits and causes damage and disruption. By identifying all of the appropriate areas of recovery and making sure the insurance claim includes all of the losses for which the client is entitled to be compensated by the insurance company, Reed Smith can help ensure maximized insurance recovery.

If the insurer refuses to pay what it rightfully owes or doesn't act with the necessary alacrity, Reed Smith can again help. Reed Smith's Insurance Recovery lawyers have extensive experience in negotiating with and cajoling insurers into moving ahead faster. If the insurer persists in refusing to pay policy proceeds that are owed, Reed Smith's Insurance Recovery lawyers are experienced and ready to obtain resolution of the matter in mediation, arbitration, court, or just about any other form of dispute-resolution mechanism imaginable.

This article is presented for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.