Property Insurance Roundtable

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria — Helping Policyholders Recover From a Disastrous Hurricane Season


Today, we will be discussing the highly-active 2017 hurricane season and its impact on the people, areas, and economy as well as how home and business owners can properly insure themselves for this exposure in coming years. Our panel of experts has first-hand experience in the public adjusting industry and will guide us through this discussion.

Key Takeaways

  • [01:21] Why were home and business owners were caught off guard by Hurricane Harvey?
  • [03:09] For future hurricanes, how can home and business owners prepare themselves?
  • [03:59] What was unique about Hurricane Harvey?
  • [04:39] What was the effect on Louisiana, Texas, and elsewhere?
  • [08:57] Tips for property owners still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
  • [10:09] What is FEMA’s role in the clean-up efforts?
  • [12:09] How long can residents expect to be affected after a hurricane?
  • [13:59] What types of property insurance coverages are home and business owners lacking with regards to Hurricane Irma claims?
  • [15:38] Is FEMA help available? And if so, what do these types of claims entail for a home or business owner?
  • [18:45] Aside from insurance policies and FEMA grants, what other types of funding or help are available?
  • [19:48] What was the overall impact of Hurricane Irma on the Caribbean and Florida?
  • [21:40] Tips specific to those dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
  • [25:16] Hurricane Irma made landfall two weeks before Hurricane Maria; were residents more aware, cautious, and alert when it came to dealing with Maria?
  • [28:51] What was the impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico?
  • [30:57] Who can property owners go to for property damage claims related to Hurricane Maria?
  • [32:37] For those living in the Caribbean, are there additional coverages home and business owners should buy to protect them from future hurricanes?


Jim Beneke is a strong and effective advocate for commercial property owners in the aftermath of a devastating property loss. A third-generation public adjuster, he has a reputation for honesty and integrity in negotiating a fair and proper insurance settlement for his clients.

Jim’s grandfather founded A.C. Beneke & Company in New York in 1927. With the 1965 launch of The Beneke Company in Dallas, Jim’s dad R.G. Beneke introduced public adjusting to Texas and the Southwest. Twenty years later, The Beneke Company was an integral part in creating and organizing Adjusters International, a corporation of the nation’s leading public adjusting firms that serve clients around the world. In 1990, Jim brought The Beneke Company/Adjusters International to Austin where he still serves clients nationwide and keeps a close eye on the University of Texas Longhorns.

Jim’s 36 years of experience, combined with this rich family tradition, shapes his knowledge and deep appreciation for the history and growth of the public adjusting profession. He has maintained long-term relationships with clients, insurance company representatives and their experts, and others he has worked with over the years. These relationships often benefit clients that are experiencing significant property loss for the first time.

But it’s not all about what he has done in the past. Through continuing education and involvement with professional organizations and government and regulatory agencies, Jim is also well-versed on trends, laws, and other influences that shape today’s public adjusting industry. In 2003, he led the Texas Association of Public Insurance Adjusters’ (TAPIA) successful legislative effort resulting in Texas’ first public adjuster licensing law. He worked closely with the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) on the creation of a model licensing act for public adjusters. Completed in October of 2005, the model act is now the law in fifteen states and is the basis of legislation in the few remaining states that do not license public adjusters.

Jim has been featured as an expert panelist on Adjusters International’s Property Insurance Roundtable podcast in the episodes titled, “Hail Damage Can Create Difficult Insurance Claims,” “Debris Removal and Pollution Damage” and “The Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting (UPPA).”

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John Marini
Senior Advisor for Business Development & Government Affairs

John Marini has extensive disaster recovery experience and knowledge of public adjusting and the FEMA Public Assistance Program. He specializes in assisting public entities with their financial recovery through the integration of insurance claims with FEMA grant funding.

Marini has established a team of more than 140 experts who assist applicants and grantees with their post-disaster FEMA grant management and insurance recovery. He is closely involved in the management of Adjusters International’s Catastrophe Operations, assisting FEMA Public Assistance applicants and grantees with recoveries from Hurricane Andrew in 1992, hurricanes Katrina/Rita/Wilma in 2005, hurricanes Gustav and Ike and the Midwest Floods in 2008, as well as many other cases.

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Luis Esteves
Principal and Executive General Adjuster

As a specialist in property, business income and extra expense claims recoveries and a licensed public adjuster, Luis Esteves is the Principal and an Executive General Adjuster for Jansen/Adjusters International. Luis handles between $80-$100 million dollars in losses annually, and has more than 20 years of experience with adjusting complex claims for large commercial real estate companies, manufacturing facilities, entertainment venues, multi-family properties, school districts and hospitals. As an expert on property loss adjustment who is retained by policyholders to assist in preparing, filing and adjusting first party property insurance claims, he works exclusively for his policyholder clients to maximize their financial recovery after devastating fires, floods, hurricanes and other natural and man-made disasters.


Marjorie Zeoli Musick

For further information on this topic, please read our Adjusting Today article: “Hurricanes and Windstorm Coverage”