There is also an opportunity for carriers to identify common causes for these losses and unpaid claims and make recommendations to their customers about how homeowners can help prevent hurricane damage, losses and unpaid claims for the year ahead. (Photo: Shutterstock) There is also an opportunity for carriers to identify common causes for these losses and unpaid claims and make recommendations to their customers about how homeowners can help prevent hurricane damage, losses and unpaid claims for the year ahead. (Photo: Shutterstock)

With Hurricane Preparedness Week taking place this week, now is the time for home insurance carriers to look back and identify key lessons from last year's hurricane season to ensure that they're properly prepared to expedite claims quickly and efficiently if a major hurricane were to hit again in 2019.

One of the key lessons from 2018 is that catastrophic events, like hurricanes, have unfortunately become the norm. Hurricanes are getting stronger and creating even more damage each year, especially as homes become increasingly connected. While hurricanes are unpredictable in terms of their ultimate path and strength when they make landfall, one thing carriers can do now to better prepare is evaluate home insurance claims data from previous catastrophic events and adjust their strategic plans accordingly.

To help carriers better prepare, organize and expedite this for 2019, LexisNexis Risk Solutions aggregated Home Insurance Catastrophic Claims Data from Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Key highlights include:

Hurricane Florence: September 2018 – North Carolina

  • Nearly 64of all North Carolina home insurance claims in 2018 came as a result of Hurricane Florence, which is the highest in a decade.
  • In September 2018, the majority of home insurance losses in North Carolina were attributed to Hurricane Florence. It was one of the costliest months on record, nearly 17 times worse than a typical September in North Carolina. September 2018 was likely the worst month on record for the state of North Carolina. In comparison, the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 was just a fourth of that of Hurricane Florence.

Hurricane Michael: October 2018 – Florida 

  • Nearly 54% of all Florida home insurance claims in 2018 came as a result of Hurricane Michael.
  • Home insurance losses for October 2018 averaged year over year were nearly 13 times more than in October 2017.

By reviewing the amount of loss and number of claims filed from the prior year's hurricane season and comparing it against their book of business, home insurers can better plan for this year by estimating how many claims adjusters they'll need on the ground immediately following a catastrophic event. This helps to help expedite the claims process and ensure accurate payout, among other proactive preparations.

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