Insurers, Are You Ready for the 2018 Hurricane Season?

The Atlantic is expected to produce 10 to 15 named storms in the six-month season that starts June 1, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Of the 10 to 15 storms, 5 to 9 could become hurricanes, reaching winds of 74 mph or higher.

Just days before the official start to the season, Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall in the Florida panhandle. The storm is expected to cause heavy rain and flooding across Alabama, Georgia and Florida – an indication that it’s never too early for the insurance industry to begin planning for the upcoming hurricane season.

Last year’s hurricane trio – Harvey, Irma and Maria – and other natural catastrophes cost the insurance industry a whopping $135 billion, according to Munich Re. It was the costliest season on record, surpassing the 2005 season which produced Katrina. Overall, 17 named storms formed in 2017, which fell in line with NOAA’s prediction of 11 to 17.

On the heels of the costliest hurricane year on record, it’s important for carriers to prepare for the 2018 season. Here are three ways carriers can use data insights to help bolster their hurricane preparedness strategy:

Access risk across your book
According to the Insurance Information Institute of New York, there are more than 6.6 million homes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts with an estimated reconstruction cost of $1.5 trillion. Given NOAA’s 2018 hurricane prediction, carriers that insure properties in the Atlantic and Gulf coast areas need to understand what properties are more prone to loss. With BuildFax’s advanced data services, carriers can help identify properties that merit re-underwriting or that require new replacement cost estimations based on remodeling activity. 

Detect claims fraud
Homeowners take advantage of natural disasters by filing an illegitimate claim with the insurance company for repairs. It is estimated that fraud represents 10 percent of the property/casualty insurance industry’s incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses, which amounts to a staggering $35 billion each year. Following a record-high year for claims payouts, it’s important for carriers to confirm that repairs were inspected and completed. BuildFax arms carriers with insights around who completed the work and what was done to better detect fraud and ensure claims payouts were used appropriately.

Optimize inspection spend post-storm
Following a storm, insights around construction activity can give carriers a way to profile properties that are prone to future loss and take a targeted approach to their inspection process. Carriers can avoid inspecting low-risk properties and prioritize inspections for high-risk properties or moderate-risk properties based on underwriting need.

For more information on how BuildFax property history and condition insights can help support your hurricane preparedness strategy, contact us today.