As the first named storm of 2020 makes an appearance nearly two weeks ahead of the official start of hurricane season, it only adds to the anxiety of coastal states already facing challenges in the wake of COVID-19 shutdowns. Still, the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies says insurers are ready for the worst.
Recent years have seen storms inflict tens of billions of dollars in damages annually, and forecasters are predicting the upcoming hurricane season to see above-normal activity. Yet, this is just one of the threats the nation faces from extreme weather. Conditions in the West also signal increased potential for dangerous wildfires exacerbated by drought conditions, and the nation has already witnessed the severe impact of 14 killer tornadoes in April, with damages from those storms costing insurers billions of dollars.
“Even as we all adjust to the ‘new normal,’ insurance companies are committed to settling covered claims as quickly as possible and with proper safeguards in place, so policyholders can get their lives back on track,” said Charles Chamness, president and CEO of NAMIC. “And despite the economic challenges of the past few months, insurers across the country are prepared for the extreme weather ahead and will be there for policyholders.”
The 2020 hurricane season has been predicted to be above average, with top hurricane forecasters at Colorado State University predicting 16 named storms, eight hurricanes, and a 69 percent chance of a major hurricane making landfall in the U.S.
“As tornadic storm and hurricane seasons kick into high gear, mutual insurers are adapting their claims processing procedures to reflect concerns of policyholders and employees stemming from the pandemic,” Chamness said. “To keep everyone safe, insurers are making increased use of technology to help prevent the spread of the disease including the use of smartphone images and video to eliminate the need for an onsite visit and have set policies to maintain social distancing even in those cases where adjusters need to be on site to help with a claim.”
Article Posted: 05.19.20
Last Updated: 05.19.20