Special Report

2020 Catastrophe Preparation and Recovery

June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season, while the peak of tornado season is March through May. Wildfire season is traditionally during the summer months, but in some states the risk is yearlong. Preparation is key to providing a timely response in order to help policyholders begin the recovery process. In this Special Report we share information on how best to prepare for natural disasters and how to recover if one damages your property.

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Addressing wildfire risk Wildfires contributed to a 46% increase in fire severity for U.S. carriers in 2018 and making it critical for them to factor an extended fire season into their predictive models. (Photo: Shutterstock)

U.S. insurance carriers are challenged to reduce their exposure to loss as wildfires consume ever-larger areas of the country. While carriers have gotten better at analyzing claims, a possible new recurring pattern of headline-making wildfires, like the most recent one in Australia, could keep many carriers in a stalemate in their ability to assess, price and underwrite risks effectively.

While 2017 is regarded as one of the worst years for wildfires, 2018 proved to be even deadlier and more destructive. In 2017, fire claim severity increased by 22% as compared to 2016, while 2018 saw an increase of nearly 80% as compared to 2016 according to the LexisNexis Home Trends Report. The aggregated fire loss in 2018 is the highest we have seen in a decade. In its wake, carriers saw fire loss cost spike by 51% compared with 2017 — which itself experienced another record-breaking wildfire season. Wildfires also contributed to a 46% increase in fire severity for U.S. carriers in 2018.

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