Hurricane Lane Poses Biggest Threat To Hawaii Since 1992’s Iniki

Hawaiians generally buy hurricane coverage separate from homeowners policy

For immediate release
New York Press Office: (212) 346-5500; media@iii.org  

NEW YORK, August 22, 2018—Hurricane Lane is headed toward Hawaii and the storm’s intense winds and heavy rains have the potential to cause significant property damage statewide later this week, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

Hurricane Lane is drawing comparisons to Hurricane Iniki, which caused $1.6 billion in insured losses when it struck Hawaii in 1992. That number is equal to $2.9 billion in 2018 dollars, the I.I.I. estimates. Dr. Phil Klotzbach, an I.I.I. non-resident scholar, posted a video today with an update on Hurricane Lane’s path. 

Hawaii homeowners and renters insurance policies usually provide coverage for almost all standard perils (e.g., fire, explosion) and liability, but exclude hurricanes. In Hawaii, homeowners and renters generally purchase hurricane and flood insurance policies separately to protect their property from those specific natural disasters, and to supplement their homeowners and renters insurance policies.

Most hurricane insurance policies have a “72 hour clause,” which means that once a hurricane "watch" or "warning" is issued by the National Weather Service, damage sustained during the 72-hour period following the issuance of the watch or warning will be covered under a hurricane policy (see page 9), according to the Hawaii Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs, Insurance Division. 

An auto insurance policy's optional comprehensive provision covers wind, hurricane and flood-caused property damage to vehicles. 

Business insurance policies, which offer coverage for property damage and business interruption, may also come into play given Hawaii’s significant tourism industry, the I.I.I. stated.

Most U.S. natural disasters involve flooding, and standard homeowners, renters, and business policies do not cover flood-caused damage. Only a flood insurance policy, available through the federal government and some private insurers, can protect a homeowner, renter, or business from flood-caused property damage. FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program was extended last month through November 30, 2018.

In addition to encouraging consumers to buy the appropriate coverage, the I.I.I. has been outspoken about the need to bridge the flood insurance coverage gap and build more resilient communities. 

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The I.I.I. has a full library of educational videos on its You Tube Channel.

THE I.I.I. IS A NONPROFIT, COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.

Insurance Information Institute, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038; (212) 346-5500; www.iii.org

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