When disaster strikes the insurance industry is a financial first responder. Millions of dollars are on the way to policyholders to cover claims related to the severe winter weather that pummeled the United States in February. But the industry is also staffed by individuals who care deeply about their communities and contribute above and beyond what their jobs require.
Below are just a few examples of donations companies and organizations have made to help their neighbors in need.
Several insurers including Liberty Mutual and Northwestern Mutual are part of the American Red Cross Disaster Responder Program. The Red Cross works with government and community partners to coordinate food and water distribution to where it is most needed.
The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. raised $1.5 million for United Way and hundreds of other nonprofit organizations across the country through an employee giving campaign. The contribution represents the largest donation the company’s charitable foundation and its employees have ever made through the annual giving program.
The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s (IICF) Southeast division has raised more than $560,000 to support 21 nonprofit beneficiaries who are facing challenging times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent winter storms. The IICF is also raising funds to help feed children and families that are facing hunger because of the pandemic.
New York Life donated $100,000 to Feeding Texas in response to the winter storm to support immediate food shortage needs in the most vulnerable communities in the state. The New York Life Foundation will match donations made by employees and agents up to an additional $100,000 to both Feeding Texas and the New York Life Emergency Assistance Fund, which provides financial assistance to employees and agents impacted by catastrophic events.
Texas Mutual Insurance Company donated $100,000 to six organizations on the frontlines providing Texans with basic needs like food, water and shelter. The Coalition for the Homeless in Houston was one of the recipients.
The USAA Foundation, Inc. has announced a $350,000 commitment to help Texas residents recover from February’s storm.
The National Hurricane Center forecasts Hurricane Laura to reach Category 4 intensity later today. A ‘life-threatening’ storm surge of 10 to 15 feet is predicted, one of the worst in years, along with destructive winds. The storm is poised to strike the upper Texas coast and western Louisiana. Hurricane and storm surge warnings have been issued for much of this zone.
If you live in an area ordered to evacuate, leave now. Do not attempt to ride out the storm. Take your insurance contact information and home inventory with you.
In an analysis based on the assumption that Hurricane Laura would come ashore on the Louisiana coast as a Category 3 storm, CoreLogic, a catastrophe modeling firm, warns that nearly 432,000 single-family and multi-family homes along the coasts of Texas and Louisiana could be damaged from storm surge. According to the analysis, Laura threatens approximately 431,810 homes with a combined reconstruction value of approximately $88.63 billion.
Said Tom Larsen, principal, insurance solutions at CoreLogic, “The coincidence of two catastrophes—a damaging hurricane season and the ongoing global pandemic—underscores the importance of the correct valuation of reconstruction cost, one of the core tenets of property insurance.”
Tropical Storm Laura has been upgraded to a hurricane and is tracking northwest across the Gulf of Mexico. The system is likely to make landfall Wednesday evening or Thursday morning, possibly in eastern Texas or western Louisiana. High winds, heavy rain and storm surge are expected.
If you live along the northern Gulf Coast you are encouraged to prepare now, as conditions will deteriorate during the day on Wednesday.
Hurricane Hanna, 2020’s first Atlantic basin hurricane, made landfall during the late afternoon of Saturday July 25 as a Category 1 storm on the Corpus Christi, Texas, coast. It struck Padre Island with winds of 90 mph.
The Corpus Christi area dodged the hurricane’s heavier rain bands, but the storm still caused significant flooding and damage. Thousands were without power late July 26 as crews worked overtime to make repairs and Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an emergency declaration for 32 counties.
By Sunday evening, the storm was downgraded to a tropical depression, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, and was slowly dying over the mountains of northern Mexico.
CoreLogic, a real estate data analytics provider, estimated that over 14,000 homes are at risk from Hurricane Hanna’s storm surge.
Flood damage to a home, a renter’s possessions, or a business is generally covered under FEMA National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies, if the homeowner, renter, or business has purchased one. Several private insurers also offer flood insurance.