GOVERNMENT, BUSINESSES AND citizens are changing their tune in the face of what may be the new norm—extreme weather. Hurricane Sandy proved that Mother Nature can damage infrastructure, businesses and homes, and powerful storms are predicted to hit New Jersey with a vengeance in the future.
Approximately 100,000 New Jersey residents experienced significant structural damage to their primary homes from the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, and this “disaster footprint extends from Cape May in the south of the state to several miles north of the George Washington Bridge, and stretches from the shoreline to over 20 miles inland,” according to a report by Rutgers University and New York University.
COMMERCE asked some of New Jersey’s top environmental firms the following questions. How does extreme weather impact your environmental firm? What type of projects does it create? What are the challenges and opportunities for environmental firms as extreme weather becomes the new norm? Here’s what 12 industry leaders had to say.
McCarter & English, LLP
By J. Wylie Donald, Esq.,
Insurance Coverage Partner, Co-Chair,
Climate Change & Renewable Energy Specialty Group
Extreme weather is a boon to our insurance coverage legal practice representing only policyholders. We are still pursuing claims for Superstorm Sandy where the insurers failed to honor the terms of their policies. But extreme weather is more than just damage caused by high winds and torrential rains. Extended high temperature stresses equipment, which can lead to failure and resulting personal injury or property damage, even if the equipment failure itself is not covered. Extreme cold leads to freezing, which can result in obvious or hidden damage. Insurance coverage is implicated in all of these situations. The challenge here is to overcome the understandable urge by risk manager insurers reasons to raise the premium. That is a concern, but insurance policies are valuable assets that should be explored when the weather gets extreme and, if appropriate, realized upon.