American Property Casualty Insurance Association
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Jeffrey Brewer







August 27, 2014

September is National Preparedness Month

PCI Encourages Homeowners to Make Plans to Protect Their Family and Property

CHICAGO – A few days ago the San Francisco Bay area experienced its strongest earthquake in 25 years, earlier this month Hawaii suffered damage from rare twin tropical storms, and over the course of two days in April, states from Nebraska to North Carolina were impacted by nearly 40 tornadoes. These severe weather events highlight the importance of understanding the types of disasters that are likely to occur and preparing for them.

National Preparedness Month (NPM) starts September 1, 2014, and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is urging residents to take action by making an emergency plan for their family and practicing it on a regular basis. PCI also has a short quiz “Are You Financially Prepared for a Natural Disaster” to test how you’re doing with natural disaster preparation and financial preparedness.

4 Action Steps for National Preparedness Month

1. Make a Plan Based on Your Hazards
Emergency planners suggest that you discuss the types of hazards such as earthquake, flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes or wildfires that could affect your area. Determine escape routes and establish at least two meeting places. One could be right outside your home in the event of a house fire, but also establish a location outside of your neighborhood in case you cannot return home or if you are asked to evacuate. Be sure to practice your plan twice a year and ensure everyone understands their responsibilities and works together as a team. As part of your plan you should also identify family members and friends you will contact before, during and after a disaster. The Red Cross and FEMA have apps that can help with disaster planning and response.

2. Make a Plan so Your Belongings are Fully Protected
While you’re making plans to protect your family, be sure to have a plan to protect your property too. Insurance is the foundation for keeping a family’s economic safety net strong, so it is vital that you have the right coverage to meet your individual needs. Talk with your agent or insurance company and they can assist you in determining what is right for you. By conducting an annual review of your insurance policy you can help ensure that your home and belongings are fully protected. This review provides you with the opportunity to address potential gaps in coverage. Additionally it enables you to talk with your insurance company or agent, ask questions and gain a better understanding regarding your coverage.

3. Make a Plan to be Prepared for Earthquakes and Floods
Earthquakes and flood can produce catastrophic damage. While the standard homeowners policy does not cover losses that result from earthquakes and floods, you can purchase separate policies that provide coverage for these perils.

4. Make a Plan that Includes Downloading Preparedness Apps and Tools
The Insurance Information Institute has a handy, free app suite that puts everything you need to plan, prepare, respond, and restore in the palm of your hand. The I.I.I. Toolkit features these three indispensable apps:

Know Your Plan Mobile App – It helps you, your family, and even your pets prepare to safely get out of harm’s way before trouble starts. Use preloaded checklists to discover key mitigation and preparation steps, or create your own lists from scratch.

Know Your Coverage Mobile App – it will help you work out an insurance plan for your needs and budget. Take the interactive quizzes that guide you through key questions to discuss with your insurance professional, and get the peace of mind that comes with knowing you Know Your Coverage™.

Know Your Stuff® - Home Inventory Mobile App – it will help you keep an up-to-date record of your belongings. Just take photos of your belongings and fill in a few key details. Your data automatically syncs with free cloud storage, giving you secure access whenever you want.

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.