WASHINGTON — The 2018 hurricane season begins tomorrow, June 1 and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is working with policymakers on catastrophe preparedness. Today, PCI released the first informational brief of its thought leadership series, Plan.Prepare.Protect., and hosted a policy briefing on Capitol Hill to share resources to help prepare communities for the start of the 2018 hurricane season.
PCI’s thought leadership series is a compilation of eight informational briefs on topics related to the 2017 natural disasters, highlighting the need to plan, prepare, and protect human lives and property from the threat of future weather and climate events. The first brief, “2017: The Year of the CATs,” provides an overview of 16 natural catastrophes that occurred in the U.S. in 2017 and resulted in more than $90 billion in insured losses. Additional informational briefs covering flood insurance, auto flood damage, claims handling, building codes, wildfires, and more will be released over the coming weeks.
Today’s policy briefing, “Hurricane Season: Preparedness, Response, and Recovery,” is the first installment in PCI’s 2018 Capital Engagement Series. Don Griffin, PCI’s department vice president, moderated the panel of experts, including Debra Ballen, general counsel and senior vice president of public policy at the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), Alex Punsalan, vice president and head of global property and casualty claims for Assurant, a PCI member, and Bill Lapenta, director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction at the National Weather Service.
“Home, auto, and business insurers are committed to helping consumers in need, quickly and efficiently. Insurers also work to educate consumers on catastrophe preparedness and insurance coverage. Hurricane season begins tomorrow, June 1. It is critical that communities take the time now to prepare their homes and businesses, as well as their finances, in the case of a major catastrophe. Additionally, flood insurance is critically important to manage the flood risk associated with hurricanes and provide the financial protection to recover from the devastation. Every hurricane season has the potential to produce powerful and devastating storms and 2017 proved to be one of the costliest years in U.S. history. We are pleased to partner with Assurant, IBHS, and the National Weather Service to share resources to save lives, reduce the costs of disasters, and assist policyholders with preparing for and recovering from natural disasters,” said Griffin.
“When it comes to hurricanes and severe tropical storms, the best defense is a great offense, “said Ballen. “We need to strengthen our built environment with roofs that can withstand local weather risks and maintain our homes, businesses, and property so they remain resilient. As we head into the 2018 Hurricane Season, many are still rebuilding from 2017’s weather disasters. We urge them to build stronger to defend against the weather risks.”
“Building a Weather-Ready Nation requires a holistic community approach where government, businesses and individuals know their risk, take action, and serve as examples to others. Therefore, the National Weather Service must connect its forecasts and warnings to the decision makers through accurate, consistent, and timely messaging of the hazards associated with high impact weather, water, and climate events,” said Lapenta.
The PCI Capital Engagement Series is a series of briefings and policy discussions that bring together insurance industry thought leaders to discuss the importance of property casualty insurance and the current issues impacting the industry.