As Hurricane Dorian Slowly Leaves the Bahamas, It Leaves Destruction in its Wake
By: Michael Perlmuter, Esq (President and General Counsel)
Alex N. Sill Company, LLC
North America’s Leading Public Adjuster and Loss Consultant
As of the time of writing this, Hurricane Dorian has slowly vacated the area of the Bahamas after totally ravaging several of the Bahama Islands. The wake of Dorian leaves massive damage and destruction on Great Abaco Island (described by one resident “as if struck by a nuclear weapon”), and significant flooding in parts of Grand Bahama Island. The Bahamas are currently in the state of rescue and recovery in many areas.
If there is one thing our team of public adjusters has learned about hurricanes through our 90+ year history, it is the unpredictability of a hurricane’s path, strength and activity. The teams at Sill have assisted clients in maximizing and expediting their recovery from insured perils such as hurricanes like Dorian and the destructive forces have remained unique in every instance. First, no one presumed the unparalleled winds speeds, with gusts reported up to 220 mph, in the Bahamas. Several of our insured clients have shared photos as well as text and phone conversations about the damages they have experienced in Abaco, Marsh Harbor, and Freeport on Grand Bahama Island. The results being hurricane damage and destruction at a level that no one on these islands has ever seen or experienced. At the latest count, there were 20 reported deaths as a result of Dorian, with fears that the number could grow higher as rescue efforts continue.
Tragically, remarked Theo Neilly, counsel general for the Bahamas in Washington, “many families, many people have lost all they have.” What was unspoken by Mr. Neilly was the fact while many commercial entities have property insurance that may cover both wind and water damages, many, many individual homeowners do not have property insurance. In 2017, the Caribbean suffered $32B in economic losses from the slew of hurricanes, but only $5B, or 16% of the economic damages, were insured, according to ratings firm A.M. Best. So, the magnitude of homeowners having to attempt to rebuild their homes and lives may be too great. In the short term with no water, no food, no electricity, and the airport closed in Freeport due to being under several feet of water, getting relief efforts and supplies to those stranded on the Great Abaco Island and on Grand Bahama Island is nearly impossible.
Stateside, fortunately, at least at the time of this article, Dorian has taken a hard-right turn, so that it has not made landfall on the coastal United States. That is not to say that Florida has not felt some of the effects of the great event. Winds, storm surge and rains have struck the eastern coast of Florida and the Carolinas, but further damages have thankfully not occurred. Now, as Dorian moves up the eastern seaboard, the Coastal Carolinas are experiencing significant wind surges, flash flooding and tornados, despite Dorian, now a category 3 hurricane, staying slightly offshore.
Stay tuned to Sill Company’s blog for the latest news about Dorian and support on recovering from hurricane damage. We have adjusting professionals and clients on the ground in several of the affected areas, as well as those areas being currently impacted. Our team will continue to provide information.
For immediate assistance with any hurricane claims in the Bahamas or in the Southeastern region of the US, including Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina, please call either Neal Novak or Jeff O’Connor at 800.524.0006 or email either of them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.