Hurricane season is going to be a doozy – just like last year, experts say. According to scientist David Dilley at Global Weather Oscillations, the hurricanes we see this season will be "somewhat of a repeat" of last year. In case one is inclined to forget, the Atlantic storms of 2017 included "numerous deadly and record-breaking tropical cyclones," some of which "changed parts of Texas, Florida and the Caribbean forever," with September raising the bar for "the busiest month of hurricane activity on record."
There are 16 named storms in the pipeline for 2018, predicted to be just as destructive as last year's (if not more so). According to Dilley, we can expect four hurricanes to make landfall in the US. Two of these are expected to be "major impact storms."
Furthermore, individuals who sustain damage may no longer be able to claim uninsured losses as an itemized deduction, unless the loss is attributable to a federally-declared major disaster, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Job Act that took effect on January 1.
This year's brewing hurricane season is just one more instance of a growing body of risks associated with climate change. Dilley said the rising frequency of tropical storms has to do with oceans running warmer than normal.
And according to Moody's most recent climate change report, weather events such as these are increasing in severity. Property Casualty 360 identified five takeaways from the report:
More opportunity. For P&C insurers, severe weather events could stimulate growth through new and current products, as well as risk transfer opportunities.
More risk. Storms present risks too, of course, stemming from litigation as well as the failure of corporations to mitigate their climate change risks.
More volatility. As coastal property value and storm frequency both rise, so does volatility, bringing risk management challenges with it.
Falling behind. Because risk models may differ significantly from actual losses, P&C insurers could easily get caught in a game of catch up: hiking premiums in chase of claims.
Carbon transition. Carbon-intensive sectors could face higher taxation, but Moody's report views this form of carbon transition risk as modest.
The picture, then, is somewhat nuanced. That said, it’s going to get rough out there this year, and now is the time to plan ahead. Property damage from high-impact storms is a major consideration for the P&C firms that serve homeowners and corporations in coastal regions; it’s as important to mitigate risk as it is to capitalize on opportunity.
That being the case, why are so many Atlantic and Gulf Coast states relaxing their stance on building codes, just when they should be doing everything they can to plan for severe storms? We’ll save that question for our next post.
The FedNat Insured Web is a great tool for our insureds!
They like having a centralized location to view policy info, make payments, upload policy documents, and elect to become paperless to receive a discount.
The insureds also can file a First Notice of Loss for a claim and access exiting claim info. Silvervine recently enhanced the site which allows insureds to upload policy documents directly to their policy. The uploaded docs go directly into our workflows and save a lot of manual effort on our part.
From my visits with agents, the agents appreciate the app for the amount of time saved on having to download and attach photos directly to the policy.
The app can also reduce the amount of staff required for a busy office to fulfill underwriting requests for photos.
When training agents they are amazed at how quickly the photos attach directly to the policy. After taking photos using the app and before they make it back to their desk, the photo is already attached to the policy. They also like the ability to attach additional photos for pre-existing damage.
Customer Service is seeing an improvement with retention as the text message definitely triggers phone calls from insureds to make payments.
The insureds love the fact that we notify them on their phones because they state that sometimes they don’t receive their mail for various reasons.
The insureds are paying more attention to the texts then to their actual mail. We try to set all of our customers up on that option if we notice that they are not currently enrolled, as it builds great customer relations as well as retention.
As a company we have adopted the use of Policy Scan for all our policies, and our agents have adopted the use of the app as well.
Not only is it easy to use, there is also no more worrying about losing photos, having to store photos or photos being attached to the wrong policy.
With Policy Scan we have increased efficiency in our workflow and reduced our exposure on the risk.
Silvervine’s core administration solutions easily handles multiple carriers within multiple states, including accounting, payment processing, immediate policy issuance and endorsements.
What started out writing one product, one line in one state has now grown into mulitple products, multiple lines and writing in multiple states. We have over $95 million in annualized premium in-force and we expect to grow by 20% during the next year all serviced by Silvervine.
Silvervine was our insurance software system of choice when we started the company in 2006. Silvervine enabled us to begin business within a few months of licensing the company. Today, we are one of the top 20 homeowner’s writers in Texas and SIlvervine’s solutions have been an integral part of our success.