Puerto Rico is still suffering the devastating aftereffects from 2017 hurricanes Irma and Maria. Rebuilding the island will cost up to $50 billion according to a recent statement by FEMA head, William “Brock” Long. Many residents are still without power and the new hurricane season is just around the corner.
The situation in Puerto Rico is a warning to North America of what could happen If we fail to address our outdated and crumbling infrastructure, according to a new report from Zurich North America.
The report, Rebuilding Infrastructure: The Need for Sustainable and Resilient Solutions, points out that during the years leading up to Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s infrastructure had been in increasing need of routine maintenance. The island’s power grid had fallen into a particular state of disrepair as a result of declining revenues and political corruption.
While the U.S. mainland infrastructure may not be in as bad a shape, the increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events makes the issue of resilient and sustainable building impossible to ignore.
The report stresses the importance of planning to rebuild BEFORE a disaster strikes and of anticipating future needs. On the positive side, over the past few years, use of reinsurance and catastrophe bonds by governments and government agencies have been increasing. Several South and Central American countries have obtained bonds that would pay for damage caused by earthquakes, and FEMA has begun obtaining reinsurance for its National Flood Insurance Program.
April is National Volunteer month, and in time with this event State Farm® has conducted an interesting survey which reveals key insights into what motivates people to volunteer.
The study found that that only 23 percent of younger millennials currently volunteer, compared to 46 percent of older millennials (those who are married, have kids, or own a home). State Farm research confirms what others have found, that younger people are looking to align their giving opportunities with their life goals.
Millennials have supplanted Baby Boomers as the largest population group in the United States, and as a result they have the biggest potential to influence volunteerism. With that in mind the study offers several useful tips for engaging young professionals in volunteer activities:
- Show the impact: People want to know their work was worth it. Forty-three percent of older millennials and 34% of younger millennials say seeing the impact of their time and talent reaffirms their commitment to give back.
- Career development: Forty percent of older millennials and 35% of younger millennials said offering opportunities to help their career or job search would boost their willingness to volunteer.
- Knowledge is power: The prospect of gaining expertise in a certain area or learning a new skill inspires more people to get involved. Forty percent of older millennials and 31% of younger millennials say this opportunity would make them more likely to volunteer.
- The more the merrier: Both groups agree, being able to participate with friends (44% older millennials, 35% younger millennials) or meet new people (28% older Millennials, 22% younger millennials) plays a large role in their decision to volunteer. In fact, one in five millennials reported finding a significant other through volunteering!
For more about how the insurance industry is committed to our communities read the latest issue of I.I.I.’s Impact magazine
Here are the 5 most clicked on articles from the I.I.I. Daily newsletter.
To subscribe to the I.I.I. Daily email email@example.com.
On Thursday April 5th Philip J. Klotzbach and Michael M. Bell, scientists with the Colorado State University, issued their 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast. The forecast anticipates slightly above-average activity for the 2018 Atlantic basin hurricane season.
There is slightly above-average probability of a major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean.
Klotzbach and Bell estimate that 2018 will have 7 hurricanes (median is 6.5), 14 named storms (median is 12.0), 70 named storm days (median is 60.1), 30 hurricane days (median is 21.3), 3 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricane (median is 2.0) and 7 major hurricane days (median is 3.9). The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 120 percent of the long-period average.
Probabilities for at least one major hurricane landfall on each of the following coastal areas:
- Entire continental U.S. coastline – 63% (average for last century is 52%)
- U.S. East Coast Including Peninsula Florida – 39% (average for last century is 31%)
- Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville – 38% (average for last century is 30%)
As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.
Click here for the full forecast.
Dr. Philip Klotzbach is a non-resident scholar for the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.)
By Brent Carris, Research Assistant, Insurance Information Institute
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and according to a new AAA survey, more people than ever are aware of the danger distracted drivers pose on the road.
The AAA Traffic Safety Culture Index, found that most drivers (87.5 percent) believe that distracted driving has outpaced all other traffic related issues as a growing safety concern. It was followed by traffic congestion at 74.5 percent and aggressive drivers at 68.1 percent. Distracted driving has been amplified by the rapid increase of cellphone usage in the car. Most drivers (96.8 percent) view texting or emailing while driving as a serious threat – however, in the past 30 days, 44.9 percent of drivers read a text message or email while driving.
The AAA survey reveals that people in the United States value safe travel and perceive unsafe driving practices as a serious threat to personal safety. However, despite these strongly held concerns, many individuals admit engaging in unsafe driving practices, demonstrating a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude.
Risky/aggressive driving, drowsy driving, and impaired driving are also a growing concern. More than half of drivers (54.9 percent) believe that drugs pose a significantly bigger problem today than in the past three years; while about 43.4 percent believe that drunk driving is either a much bigger problem today or a somewhat bigger problem today than three years ago. Most respondents supported required alcohol-ignition interlocks for drivers convicted of a DWI.
More than one-in-five drivers or 21.4 percent report having been in a motor vehicle crash in which at least one party involved was hospitalized. Between 2006 and 2015, almost 58 million crashes occurred on U.S. highways, resulting in 355,562 fatalities and an estimated 23.5 million injuries.
The earthquake risk exposure for California’s workers comp market is huge, as nearly every worker in the state is covered. By contrast only about 10 percent of Californians have residential earthquake insurance.
The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) has recently partnered with Risk Management Solutions, Inc. (RMS), on a report quantifying the earthquake risk faced by California workers’ compensation insurers.
The timing of an earthquake event emerged as one of the critical factors when assessing the risk to employees. Recent earthquakes such as the Loma Prieta and the Northridge happened during off-peak hours; had the timing been different, the human impact could have been much worse. As expected the highest concentration of employees coincides with the highest hazard regions.