With the Hurricane Season underway, WRIN.tv speaks with Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) President and CEO Sean Kevelighan about the forecast for 2017, and a change in focus from ‘recovery’ to ‘resilience.’

Mr. Kevelighan drew from a recent announcement jointly published by the I.I.I., the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University (CSU) and the Tropical Meteorology Project (TMP), which forecasts “near-average activity” with 13/14 named storms and two major hurricanes in 2017. He warns against complacency and notes that there are four million homes and one trillion dollars in property values at risk.

Eight of the ten most costly hurricanes in U.S. history have occurred since 2004, highlighting an increase in severity of losses. Mr. Kevelighan notes the concern coming from higher populations and property values along coastal areas.

Mr. Kevelighan says the insurance industry and the I.I.I. are focused on mitigating potential losses and helping communities to be more resilient. He acknowledges that the focus on “recovery” tends to be a challenge, with not-for-profits and governments coming in after a disaster to help affected individuals recover to the same place.  According to Mr. Kevelighan, that “does not make anyone more resilient.” He suggests the focus should shift to “building forward.”

Historically, the insurance industry has been focused on resilience. Carriers work hard to mitigate risks for their customers. “That is resilience.” Mr. Kevelighan sites the BuildStrong Coalition as evidence of the industry’s commitment to resilience.  He also notes the involvement of trade association and insurers, firefighters and the Alliance for National & Community Resilience to broaden spectrum of people involved in resilience efforts. In addition, the industry supports resilience programs at the Wharton School of Risk Management and The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), as well as the Insurance Information Institute.

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