2021 Training is your source for insurance industry headlines and Texas insurance adjuster training. Adjusters need to stay on top of the latest news and changes within the industry, so we’ve chosen some top headlines from August 2019 to share with you. home This month, we have Tropical Storm Dorian, Texas ransomware attacks, and a new Texas law regarding homes’ flood histories.
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And now, the headlines.
Dorian’s Path to Florida
Tropical Storm Dorian is expected to drench Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands with extreme wind and rain before it becomes Florida’s first major hurricane since 2004’s Hurricane Jeanne. The US National Hurricane Center predicts that Dorian will gather speed and make landfall on Florida’s central coast as a Category 3 storm with winds of 115 miles per hour.
“Dorian is forecast to become a hurricane later today, and continue strengthening during the next few days over the Atlantic waters,” reported the center. Hurricane warnings have now been issued for Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Vieques and Culebra.
Insurance adjusters should prepare for deployment to Florida following Dorian’s landfall. Monitor news alerts and be sure to pay attention to your phone, texts and emails. When it’s time to deploy, you need to act fast and be responsive. Make sure your Xactimate skills and continuing education credits are up to date, and that your car is tuned up and ready to hit the road. Use 2021 Training to master Xactimate and get any credits you need to stay current.
Ransomware Attack Hits More Than 20 Texas Cities
Over 20 local governments in Texas were targeted in a coordinated ransomware attack. The Texas Department of Information Resources believes one individual is behind all the attacks, but they will not comment on the person’s identity or demands.
Ransomware is a malicious program that encrypts all the data on a person’s hard drive, making it unusable to anyone who doesn’t know how to break the encryption. The attacker then offers to restore the drive – for a price. The FBI reports that 1,400 ransomware attacks netted computer hackers $3.6 million in payouts last year.
The ransomware attack on Texas towns is unprecedented in size. The FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies are working with the affected cities. The attacks seem to have targeted municipal government offices, making them unable to process credit card payments or rendering their computers completely unusable.
Security experts recommend making frequent backups of your data and never opening email links from unknown sources. If you receive an unexpected link from a personal contact, verify that they are the actual sender before you follow the link.
It’s the Law: Texas Home Sellers Must Disclose Flood History
A new law goes into effect September 1st which forces home sellers in Texas to tell buyers if the home has flooded before. This is more information than was previously required; before, sellers only had to disclose that a home was located on a 100-year flood plane.
But tens of thousands of Houston homes flooded during Hurricane Harvey, and most of them were not located on flood plains. Homeowners who sold their houses afterward did not have to tell buyers that the house had flooded, and possibly could again.
Real estate agents are concerned that the new law will slow down home sales or force home sellers to accept lower prices for their previously flooded homes. The best advice? If you live near the coast, buy flood insurance, even if you don’t live on a flood plane.
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