Consultant: Washington County is Deepwater Horizon ‘affected area’

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 11:49 AM.

CHIPLEY — Washington County businesses may be eligible to file claims for losses due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, even if they were initially denied by the BP claims offices, said Ron Bell, director of sales for NFW Consulting.

Bell spoke to the Washington County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, at Northwest Florida Community Hospital, during the chamber’s monthly “Third Thursday” breakfast meeting.

Deepwater Horizon was the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

While drilling at the Macondo Prospect 0n April 20, 2010, an an explosion on the oil rig caused by a blowout and killed 11 crewmen. The explosion also ignited a fireball visible from 35 miles away.

The resulting fire could not be extinguished and, on April 22, Deepwater Horizon sank, leaving the well gushing at the sea bed. 

“The oil spill decimated the economy in this area,” Bell said. “When it first occurred to BP that they had a bad PR problem, they hired an independent insurance adjustment firm to handle the claims.”

Bell explained that when catastrophes such as hurricanes or tornadoes occur, insurance companies often hire independent adjustment firms to help with the numerous claims filed. BP hired one of those firms to handle the initial claims from businesses seeking reparations following the oil spill.

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