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Home ownership has been a long-standing dream for many Americans, but the convergence of various events and developments over the last few years has made it harder to keep that dream from turning into a nightmare. For example, more intense extreme-weather events and other natural disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy, California wildfires and tornados in the Plains and Midwest, highlight the potential daunting expenses of rebuilding or repairing the dream should the worst happen. 

Such nightmares are not just haunting homeowners. As the climate continues to change, the challenges of finding a way to deal with increasing storm severity is readily apparent to insurers as well. According to Verisk subsidiary AIR Worldwide, since 1990, annual aggregate losses caused by severe thunderstorms in the United States on average are responsible for more than half of all insured catastrophe losses. In 2011 alone, thunderstorm events cost the industry $25 billion—a high price for the cost of doing business. The continuing trend makes it more important than ever for homeowners to be vigilant about maintaining their dream homes and property—ensuring roofs are sealed, gutters are clear and in good condition, and trees are healthy and pruned as a defense against strong winds that could have a devastating effect on a house after a severe storm. 

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