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Dawson and Rosenthal
Dawson and Rosenthal

San Diego Catastrophic Losses

Catastrophic loss accounts for a large number of insurance claims, and such claims seem to be on the rise. According to the Insurance Information Institute, from 1997 to 2016, events involving tornadoes, hail, wind, and floods made up 39.9% of total catastrophic losses. Hurricanes and tropical storms came in second with 38.2%, winter storms at 6.7%, and terrorism and fires at 5.9% and 2.0% respectively.

What Are Catastrophic Losses?

Catastrophic loss is a total loss of property with no chance of recovery. They usually require a large insurance payment to cover the damage and clean up the aftermath. The most common types of catastrophic losses are:

  • Natural disaster. Natural catastrophes include weather phenomenon such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, winds, and hail. They often cause total devastation of entire streets, neighborhoods, sometimes even cities. The cost to clean up the area and rebuild is extremely high, and the payout takes a long time to deliver. Most recently, the California mudslides and wildfires would fall under this category.
  • Man-made catastrophes. Man-made catastrophes are those caused by humans. These include acts of terrorism, arson, gun violence, and bombs. The largest occurrence of man-made catastrophe was the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11.

What Are Common Insurance Problems Due to Catastrophic Losses?

When dealing with a catastrophic loss, there is a lot to consider. Sifting through the debris of your life after a catastrophe can sometimes provide clues about what happened, but not always. Insurance companies are trying to investigate hundreds of claims all at the same time and may attempt to skip corners to get ahead. Here’s a look at some common problems victims experience after a disaster:

  • Loss of business. Not only is the insured building a loss, but the insurance agency itself in the local area might also be a loss.
  • It takes time. After a hurricane or a tornado, it takes time for insurance agencies to visit every single claim and assess the damage.
  • The application of deductibles. Clauses on an insurance policy regarding coverage under a deductible can be difficult to decipher. In the aftermath of a disaster, it can be hard to separate what the disaster caused and what was already a problem. This investigation takes time and can cause a huge delay in payment and closure.
  • Service and utility loss. Even though a business or a home might not incur any physical damage in the disaster, their property might still incur damage from the conditions. A loss of local utilities can mean pipes can freeze in a snowstorm, or basements can flood when the electricity is out. Insurance companies sometimes argue against this type of claim because the loss of power-damaged the property, not the storm itself.
  • Meteorological definitions. Following an event like a hurricane, it can be impossible to tell what damage happened from what kind of weather. If a property has insurance for wind damage but not flood damage, it can be impossible to know if the flood water came in the house first, or if the broken window caused by wind damage allowed the rainwater to enter the house.

Catastrophic Losses and Bad Faith Insurance Claims

Bad faith insurance claims need immediate attention – both to get a start on a lengthy process and to get reimbursement for shelter. Both state and federal laws have regulations in place to protect insured individuals from catastrophic bad faith insurance claims. Paying insurance premiums protects you. If an insurance agency deals with you unfairly, you need the immediate help of an experienced legal firm.

Why Do You Need a Lawyer?

A San Diego lawyer trained in bad faith will be able to help you pick up the pieces faster when a natural disaster strikes. A lawyer will know exactly how to help you get what you deserve, and you can get back on your feet again. Get the help you need to rebuild and move to the next phase in your life.

Call Our Office Today

If you need help after bad faith claim for catastrophic losses, time is crucial. Discuss your claim with one of our attorneys. We focus on only a few cases at a time to ensure you get the fairest result.