We live in a world where terrorism is a constant and unpredictable threat. Recent attacks have hit too close to home for some of us, and may make all of us feel powerless over our personal lives and businesses. Likewise, as insurers and insurance stakeholders, recent attacks remind us that we have to be smart about what we do to protect our livelihoods. It’s a business, yes, but it’s also a valued service.
Just weeks after Hurricane Harvey devastated much of Texas and Louisiana, causing record-breaking floods and rampant destruction, we’re already preparing for Hurricane Irma. The storm is projected to make landfall in Florida this weekend as at least a Category 4 hurricane. Based on wind speed, Irma is among the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record. And, with severe damages in the Caribbean already, Irma will be one to watch very closely. In a time of chaos and uncertainty, we must all work together—insurance carriers, commercial providers, government, and scientists alike—to share as much information as we can to protect policyholders and portfolios. With this in mind, we’ve created a list of SpatialKey-specific resources as well as our top external resources:
Severe flooding in Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey (businessinsider.com)
Since progressing to Category 4 strength over the weekend, Hurricane Harvey has regressed back into a tropical storm. As predicted, rainfall and flooding have taken over as the main threats from Harvey, making this storm far from finished.
Track of Hurricane Harvey and sample portfolio exposure
When Hurricane Harvey makes its eventual landfall late Friday evening into Saturday morning, it’s expected to be the first Category 3 hurricane to hit Texas since Hurricane Bret in 1999. The storm grew quickly, with 30 mph winds developing into 80+ mph winds in just a few days.
“We got cows!” This memorable line from the movie Twister came when a cow was hurled by a tornado in front of a truck driven by two storm chasers. A tornado can pick up just about anything, and while flying cows may not be on most insurers’ minds, they do need to worry about the impact 200+ mph winds could have on their books of business.
The risk of wildfire is unlike any other, as today, 90 percent are caused by humans. That’s an alarming amount, considering all it would take is one inexperienced hiker failing to properly extinguish their campfire to scorch an entire mountain.
Satellite image of Tropical Storm Cindy, courtesy of hattyphoto
With an above-average 11 to 17 named storms predicted this hurricane season, members of the P&C insurance industry need to be fully equipped to weather the storms. We know it only takes one bad storm to impact a nation’s economy for months, even years. Hurricane Matthew (2016) was the first hurricane to reach Category 5 since 2007, causing $10 billion worth of damage in the U.S. and displacing thousands. Not only that, it was the 13th billion-dollar weather disaster in the U.S. last year.
With the NFIP $24.1 billion in debt, the floodgates are opening to an epic, never-before-seen private flood insurance market. Now more than ever, underwriting and risk selection are not only paramount, but clear areas for competitive advantage as the market heats up.