Marking this week's 20-year anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) released a special report, "Twenty Years of Progress: Advances in the Property Insurance Industry Since Hurricane Andrew."
This paper addresses some of the noteworthy improvements in the property insurance industry over the last 20 years, which will help consumers in the event of another massive hurricane like Andrew. Specific areas that have seen positive changes may be classified into the following four "Cs": computer models; communications with the public, catastrophe response management; and cost savings resulting from building codes and other hazard mitigation programs.
Computer modeling enhancements provide policyholders with greater market stability and more comfort in knowing that insurers will be able to respond to their obligations after a catastrophic event. Advancements in communications will help insurers get life-saving information out to the public when a storm is approaching. Better catastrophe response management helps insurers respond more quickly and provide more efficient claims services to those in need. Cost savings from insurer-backed mitigation, such as better building codes, help consumers by reducing the potential for property damage.
"Hurricane Andrew served as a catalyst for many positive changes that have saved lives and significantly improved response times to catastrophic events of all types," said Christopher Hackett, PCI's director, personal lines policy. "In the two decades following Andrew, insurers have been quick to embrace new technology so that consumers' needs are promptly meet and communities can begin the recovery process immediately following a catastrophic event.
The insurance industry learned many important lessons and is better prepared today than at any other time to respond to hurricanes both before and after they strike."