Agencies Saw Business Interruption Claims After October Nor’easter

November 15, 2011

Local agencies in the Northeastern region say they saw cases of business interruption claims following the unusual, freak snowstorm that swept through the area last month.

Many claims came from local restaurants and diners whose refrigerated foods went bad and couldn’t serve their customers during power outages.

“Driving around, we saw a lot of trees down, majority of which have not been covered because they have not hit anything. Some hit porches and fences but nothing major with regard to the homeowners side,” Joseph Merullo, president at Vreeland Insurance Agency in Rockaway, N.J., told Insurance Journal.

But when it came to the business insurance end of it, he added, “we did have spoilage claims and business interruptions due to power outages.”

“Primarily with us, it’s been diners and delicatessens. They lost their power between three to five days and they couldn’t open their businesses. Five days is probably the tops that we experienced.”

Abbate Insurance Associates in Connecticut also saw business interruption claims from local restaurants following the October Nor’easter. “When people lost power, their refrigeration went out, all their goods in the refrigerators were lost,” said Bob Brunell, a representative from Abbate Insurance.

“And they could not serve customers because they had to wait for power and for inspections from the health department to make sure everything was okay. So those two things caused some of the businesses to be interrupted. Frankly it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. It could have been a lot worse.”

According to an estimate from the Connecticut Insurance Department, Connecticut suffered up to $750 million in insured damages. Overall insurance-covered damages for all the states affected by the October snowstorm could be anywhere between $1 billion and $3 billion, according to industry estimates.

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