Lessons Learned from Irene

Two interesting discoveries have arisen during the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

First, apparently some insurance companies do not understand that when they write essential property insurance in Coastal North Carolina excluding wind, they are responsible to adjust the wind claim on behalf of the North Carolina Insurance Underwriting Association (Beach Plan). This responsibility is clearly set out in North Carolina General Statute 58-45-35 (e). The Beach Plan will reimburse the essential property insurer for the claims expenses.

Second, the Single Adjuster Program (SAP) is a voluntary program. Each individual property insurer must decide whether they will participate in the SAP program. 

Because some confusion on these issues have been reported to IIANC, it seems that going forward agents should poll their insurers to find out the following two items:

  • Does the essential property insurer who has excluded wind understand their  statutory responsibility to adjust the wind claims in the event of a catastrophic loss?
  • Does the property insurer participate in the Single Adjuster Program?

Knowing the answer to these two questions should clarify how and to whom to file wind and flood claims in the event of a catastrophic loss.