The Year-Round CAT Season: Is Your Business Prepared for Increasingly Frequent Severe Weather?
Original Broadcast Date: Tuesday, July 10, 2012
A severe weather event need not make national news to have a devastating impact on business. Hurricanes make the biggest headlines, but measured in terms of aggregate claims cost, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hail typically account for the majority of losses. Consider this: taken as a single event, the spring 2011 tornado and storm season is the 4th most costly event in US insurance history, according to the Insurance Industry Institute.
What does this mean for you and your business? First of all, forget “tornado alley” and “CAT season.” Neither your geographic location nor the time of year guarantees immunity. Anywhere and anytime across the U.S., severe weather events can wipe-out facilities and equipment, interrupt business operations, and catch even the most conscientious companies and property owners overexposed and underprepared. Moreover, today’s “year-round CAT season” has an all-around impact that goes beyond business, disrupting your employees’ lives as well as your suppliers and customers too.
PropertyCasualty360 has assembled an outstanding panel of weather, insurance, and risk engineering experts to share with you the latest data and analysis on severe weather frequency—as well as how your business can be better prepared for whatever comes your way. Our discussion will cover:
Jeffrey Masters, PhD.
Director of Meteorology
The Weather Underground
Jeff Masters received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Meteorology in 1982 and 1983, respectively, from the University of Michigan. While working on his Masters degree, he participated in field programs studying acid rain in the Northeast U.S. and air pollution in the Detroit area. In 1986, he took a position teaching weather forecasting to undergraduates at SUNY Brockport in New York, and then later that year moved to Miami to join the Hurricane Hunters as a flight meteorologist for NOAA's Aircraft Operations Center. You can see him on the 1988 PBS documentary NOVA show titled "Hurricane!", flying into Hurricane Gilbert, the strongest hurricane ever observed in the Atlantic at that time. He co-authored several technical papers on wind measurement from aircraft during his four years flying with the Hurricane Hunters.
Jeff left the Hurricane Hunters in 1990 to pursue a Ph.D. degree in air pollution meteorology from the University of Michigan where he received the 2006 Merit Award as the Alumnus of the year from their Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences Department. In 1995 he co-founded The Weather Underground, Inc. He wrote much of the software that ingests and formats the raw NWS data used on the website, and created most of the imagery on the tropical page. Jeff currently serves as Director of Meteorology and on the Board of Directors for the company.
Michael A. Simons, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Blauer Manufacturing Co., Inc
Mike has been CFO of Blauer Manufacturing since 1995. He is recognized by his peers in the financial community for his leadership, expertise, and integrity. After his MBA at UMass/Amherst, Mike worked for Price Waterhouse and became a CPA. He worked for several public and private companies before joining Blauer. He has served as President of The Treasurers’ Club of Boston, President of Financial Executives International, Boston, and currently is Trustee, Vice Chairman, and incoming Chairman of FERF, the Financial Executives Research Foundation a nationally respected financial research group.
Mark A. DeLawter, CIC, AFSB
Zurich Commercial Markets - Financial Institutions and Real Estate
Mark is a seasoned insurance professional with 23 years of experience specializing in underwriting and marketing insurance solutions for the financial institutions and real estate industries. Since late 2008, Mark has served as a Practice Leader for the Financial Institutions industry segment of Zurich North America, and assumed additional responsibilities over the Real Estate industry segment in early 2011.
Mark has spoken at various state association conferences on the subject of Directors & Officers Liability, Cyber Insurance, REO property exposures/coverage, and Crime Insurance. He has also published articles in association trade magazines on “Understanding the D&O Claims Process” and “Hurricane Preparedness.”
National Catastrophe Team Manager
Zurich North America
Mike Cincinelli joined Zurich in 2004 as a claims consultant during the active hurricane season after years in the field. He played a key role in building Zurich's Catastrophe team from the ground up and is currently a National Catastrophe Team Manager. Mike has managed Zurich's CAT response to numerous events, including a Global CAT response in 2011, where he spent two months in the Asia Pacific region. After earning a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix, Mike has continued his education in the Lake Forest Graduate program where he is on pace to attain his MBA in 2013.
The Atlantic hurricane season is less than three weeks old yet it’s already threatening the Gulf of Mexico coastline with flooding rains.
Markel’s director of U.S. Professional Liability explains the claim’s team’s vital role.