HARTFORD, CT — Hurricane season has started and already there has been a deadly storm with predictions for many more along with one swirling dilemma — what if a storm surge swamps homes and businesses in the Gulf of Mexico region with oil-laden water from the spill, according to The Hartford Courant.
This hurricane season, from June 1 through Nov. 30, will be "one of the more active on record," said Jane Lubchenco, an undersecretary at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Insurers such as The Travelers Co. and The Hartford Financial Services Group have plenty of cash on hand, both from an inactive hurricane season last year and a strong rebound in financial markets since early 2009: Industry experts say that property-casualty insurers are ready, the article stated.
Homeowners'' insurance policies typically cover damage from wind, rain, hail and lightning, but not flooding. Flood water from a storm surge is covered by the government-run National Flood Insurance Program, for those who have a policy, the article noted.
Who covers oil, the article asked.
According to the article, the short answer is BP, which says it will pay, but it''s not that simple: Property owners or their insurers might be left sorting through hurricane damage, figuring out how much damage is related to wind versus flooding, and then oil related to the spill.
Federal flood policies cover removal of "debris," whether that includes oil could be left up to the courts, the article added.
Property owners might also have to prove in court that BP''s oil contaminated their land, not some other source, such as petroleum from a nearby gas station, oil drum or junkyard, the article concluded.
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