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Insurance & Wildfire Risk Help

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 13, 2019

In separate efforts, ISO and Intterra and Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) and the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) are working on helping fix a huge plague that has descended on the West.

That plague is wildfire.

ISO and Intterra are teaming with the Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA). They are looking at new ways to analyze and understand the risk of wildfire. Intterra has been working with the WFCA for years and has developed the Fire Data Lab.

The ISO is new to the game.

WFCA CEO Jeff Johnson said the lab is dedicated to finding ways to accelerate the use of data to drive fire service decision making. ISO is going to add insurance data and risk analytics to the lab’s efforts.

“The growth of wildfires is constantly creating new challenges for those on the front lines working to protect people and property,” Johnson said. “With Intterra and ISO, we’ll look to harness the power of fire analytics, environmental data, and insurance innovation to gain new perspectives on how to mitigate and respond to these complex natural disasters.”

The AGCS and the I.I.I. effort is taking a different approach and is helping with wildfire risk mitigation practices for businesses. Looking at data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), AGCS said over 40% of small businesses do not reopen after experiencing a disaster from wildfire. Or any other disaster for that matter.

Another 25% that do reopen only manage to stay open for two years.

Wildfires — the AGCS and the I.I.I. say — cause a lot of issues for businesses:

  Property loss — even if that property is rented, the physical location will be disrupted when faced with an evacuation or a transfer order

  Equipment loss — that’s self-explanatory.

  Vulnerable industries — agriculture, destination wineries, ranching and forestry are very vulnerable to wildfire

  Business interruption / contingent interruption / supply chain — all fires are considered to be a threat to operations even if you’re not in a wildfire prone area

 

Here’s what the two groups recommend businesses do to mitigate wildfire damage:

  Put a 5-foot no burn zone around the property

  Clear bushes and relocate flammable materials

  Use fire-fighting foam around business property and build with fire-resistant building materials

  Develop an employee safety plan in case of a wildfire

  Have a business continuity plan in place

Scott Steinmetz of AGCS said, “We are dedicated to helping businesses mitigate extreme catastrophes like wildfires with the most advanced techniques and solutions available. Innovative approaches are a part of the new frontier in proactive mitigation response and risk awareness, property resiliency and true customer service.”

I.I.I. Vice President Loretta Worters agrees.

“Financial preparedness is as vital to an organization as business resilience planning,” she said and added that it’s important for business owners to review their insurance coverage to make sure they can rebuild and protect their business in the event of a fire.

 

Source link: Insurance Journal, Insurance Business America

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