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NEW YORK, September 1, 2020—U.S. hurricane seasons are costlier than ever before because more Americans are living in coastal states, according to the Insurance Information Institute’s (Triple-I) just-released white paper, Hurricane Season: More Than Just Wind and Water.
“The fact that people are moving more and more into areas that are prone to natural catastrophes is playing a greater role than either weather or climate when it comes to impacting hurricane-caused insured loss payouts,” said Sean Kevelighan, CEO, Triple-I. “Unfortunately, larger and more expensive homes have been built for decades in hurricane-prone communities.”
Repairing and replacing sizable wind-damaged homes are among the reasons insured loss payout figures continue to climb after hurricanes, despite improved weather forecasting and greater public awareness about them.
Last week, Hurricane Laura became the latest storm to generate multi-billion-dollar insured loss payouts, Nine of the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history—as defined by the dollars paid out in auto, home and business insurance claims—have occurred since 2004. Three of the five costliest—Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma—impacted the U.S. in a single year (2017), the paper notes.
Issued on the first day of National Preparedness Month, the Triple-I’s white paper examines how insurers, risk managers, individuals and businesses are responding to mitigate the risks and improve community resilience through:
· Improved modeling and forecasting
· Advances in aerial imagery – particularly important as COVID-19 complicates the process of putting personnel on the ground
· Better building codes
Written by Jeff Dunsavage, Senior Research Analyst, Triple-I, the paper also highlights the work being done by Dr. Michel Léonard, CBE, Senior Economist and Vice President, Triple-I, who heads up the Insurance Information Institute’s Resilience Accelerator. The initiative was launched in 2019 to build awareness and adoption of insurance as a front-line defense against the impact of extreme weather events on households, businesses and communities.
Moreover, the Triple-I’s paper cites the successful work undertaken by insurance industry-funded groups, such as the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) and the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) Geospatial Intelligence Center (GIC), organizations who have developed better building standards and advanced early property damage detection systems, respectively. In addition, it draws from the data and expertise of such industry leaders as Aon, Church Mutual, RMS, Swiss Re and Zurich.