American Property Casualty Insurance Association
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Jeffrey Brewer







April 3, 2014

PCI Puts Spotlight on Severe Weather Preparedness during Anniversary of 1974’s Super Tornado Outbreak

CHICAGO - Today marks the 40 year anniversary of the worst super tornado outbreak in recorded U.S. history, when a total of 148 twisters ripped through 13 states causing massive amounts of damage. More recently there were huge tornado outbreaks in April 2011 and 2012, which highlight the importance of advance preparation for severe weather, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).

With advances in weather forecasting, the National Weather Service is much better at identifying high risk days and has increased the average warning lead time from only five minute in the early 1990s to an average of 14 minutes today. Additionally as part of a national effort to increase emergency preparedness and build a Weather-Ready Nation, NOAA and FEMA are involved in the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) project, which sends emergency messages from authorized government agencies to your mobile device outlining the type and time of the alert and any action you should take.

“Even with the technological progress in weather forecasting and early warning systems that may be able to provide people in harms way some additional time to seek shelter from an emergency, the key to survival in severe weather is still advance planning,” said Chris Hackett, director of personal lines for PCI. “In addition to having an emergency plan and kit, NOAA weather radio, and other emergency supplies, it’s equally as important homeowners, renters, and business owners to conduct a review of their insurance policies and discuss coverage options with their insurance agent or company.

With the end of the long winter season, it is time to prepare for the severe weather that comes with the change to warmer temperatures. The “Superoutbreak” of 1974 produced 30, F4 or F5 tornadoes within a 24-hour period and Alabama, Kentucky and Ohio were the hardest hit states. As the nation moves through the peak of tornado season which last through June PCI is urging homeowners to make sure your insurance policy is up to date.

Most tornado, windstorm, hail and similar severe weather-related losses are covered by either homeowners, renters, or commercial insurance policies. Tornado losses to a home are covered by the windstorm peril under the homeowners’ insurance policy. Renters insurance also provides coverage to policyholder possessions under this peril. Business owners are covered under their commercial policies. Protection from windstorm or hail damage for cars is covered under the comprehensive portion of the automobile insurance policy.

PCI is committed to educating consumers about their insurance coverage and provides tips and resources about coverage related to severe weather:

PCI’s 4 Quick Pre-Storm Tips:

1.·Conduct a detailed inventory of your possessions including receipts, descriptions and photos of your home's contents.

2.·Practice your emergency response plan and put together an emergency kit that includes key contact information including your insurance policy and agent information.

3.·Keep a cell phone charged and with you and have some cash on hand for emergencies.

4.·If you have one, keep a laptop computer close by. Most insurance companies allow claims reports to be submitted via the Internet.

PCI is composed of more than 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross-section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write over $195 billion in annual premium, 39 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 46 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 32 percent of the homeowners market, 37 percent of the commercial property and liability market, and 41 percent of the private workers compensation market.