Announcement at National Preparedness Symposium Sponsored by the
Travelers Institute, IBHS and Ceres
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May. 31, 2012--
Travelers today announced it is introducing a wind credit for fortified
homes in Texas that meet established standards designed to resist the
impacts of tropical storm and hurricane winds. Travelers currently
offers similar credits in Alabama and Mississippi.
“Homes built to meet these stringent standards are better able to
withstand severe weather, saving lives and reducing property losses, and
we want to promote and raise awareness of these smarter building
practices,” said Greg Toczydlowski, President of Personal Insurance for
Travelers. “We hope this initiative and meaningful wind credit will
encourage homeowners, builders and building officials to adopt these
disaster resistant standards.”
"I appreciate Travelers expanding this initiative in Texas,” said
Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman of the Texas Department of Insurance. “We
know that mitigation works to reduce loss of life and property. And now,
coastal homeowners in Texas can also save money on their insurance
costs. This is a win-win for consumers and their communities."
The announcement was made at the hurricane preparedness symposium
sponsored by the Travelers
Institute, the Insurance Institute for Building and Home Safety (IBHS)
who joined to convene business, government and community leaders to
identify solutions for protecting and insuring the increasingly densely
populated regions along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
“We've seen first-hand the significant economic and social implications
of coastal storms in the U.S., and Travelers continues to take a
leadership role in helping prepare businesses and homeowners for the
upcoming hurricane season,” said Joan Woodward, Travelers Executive Vice
President of Public Policy and President of the Travelers Institute.
“2011 was a record year for severe weather, and the importance of
disaster preparedness, response and recovery, as well as sound policy,
is more apparent than ever. We applaud the tremendous efforts the City
of New York engaged in as they prepared for Hurricane Irene in 2011.”
Jim McConnell, Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Data in the New York
City Office of Emergency Management (OEM), keynoted the event and
discussed best practices that the city employed in preparing for
Hurricane Irene. “OEM works every day to develop plans and prepare for
emergencies, as well as to educate the public about preparedness,
coordinate emergency response, and collect and disseminate emergency
information. We believe our response in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene
provides best practices for response efforts both in New York and across
the country,” he said.
At the symposium, two panels addressed the current challenges regarding
the availability and affordability of coastal wind insurance for
homeowners as well as disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
IBHS’s Debra Ballen moderated the first panel, which included:
Ken Katz, Risk Control, Travelers
Nancy Rodrigues, Build Smart Virginia
Giovanni Taylor-Peace, Global Disaster Response Team, Habitat for
Dave Treutel, Smart Home America
“Preparing for hurricanes means much more than just having bottled water
and flashlights on hand,” said Debra Ballen, IBHS General Counsel and
Senior Vice President of Public Policy. “While these items are
important, we need to look at the bigger picture. Building stronger,
safer communities is the most effective way to ensure that residents and
businesses are prepared for and can recover from hurricanes. We have
already seen two named storms before this year’s Atlantic Hurricane
Season officially begins June 1. These early storms demonstrate how
critical preparedness is, and IBHS is pleased to join with Travelers and
Ceres today during National Hurricane Preparedness Week to discuss
proven strategies that can save lives and reduce devastating property
Cynthia McHale from Ceres moderated the second panel, which included:
Robert Hartwig, Insurance Information Institute
Eleanor Kitzman, Commissioner of the Texas Department of Insurance
Eric M. Nelson, Catastrophe Management, Travelers
Stephen Weinstein, RenaissanceRe
"We know that 2011 was a devastating year for extreme weather events in
the United States,” said Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres. “These events
triggered a record 99 federal disaster declarations and were marked by
their severity and frequency, and we are proud to partner with Travelers
to identify solutions to these issues.”
The Travelers Institute released a
report with key findings from its two year symposium series on the
coastal insurance crisis. The report makes several recommendations, many
of which reflect the principles within the Travelers Coastal Wind Zone
Plan, the company’s proposal for a private, market-based solution
without federal subsidies. They include:
A stable and consistent regulatory environment, with a uniform set of
rules applied to named storm wind coverage for coastal zones from
Texas to Maine.
Transparency in calculating insurance premiums, with risk-based,
actuarially sound rates using approved standards and wind risk models,
and a rating calculation mechanism to be applied if models and actual
experience become misaligned over time.
Federal reinsurance mechanism for extreme events (such as hurricanes
causing losses several times greater than those arising out of
Hurricane Katrina), with the reinsurance made available to insurers at
cost so there would be no taxpayer subsidy, and the savings passed
directly to customers.
Encouraging stronger homes through federal guidelines for appropriate
building codes and land use planning, with incentives for state and
local adoption, plus enhanced construction technology and meaningful
premium credits for customers who make their homes less vulnerable to
The complete report, which includes the Travelers Coastal Wind Zone
Plan, is available at www.travelersinstitute.org.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV)
is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto,
The company’s diverse business lines offer its global customers a wide
range of coverage sold primarily through independent agents and brokers.
A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has more than
30,000 employees and operations in the United States and selected
international markets. The company generated revenues of approximately
$25 billion in 2011. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.
About The Travelers Institute
The Travelers Institute, the
public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc., engages in
discussion and analysis of public policy topics of importance to the
insurance marketplace and the financial services industry. The Travelers
Institute draws upon the industry expertise of Travelers' senior
management and the technical expertise of many of Travelers'
underwriters, risk managers and other experts to provide information and
analysis to public policy makers and regulators. Travelers is a leading
provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. For
more information, visit www.travelers.com.
Ceres is an advocate for sustainability
leadership. Ceres mobilizes a powerful network of investors, companies
and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of
sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global
About the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS)
is an independent, nonprofit, scientific research and communications
organization supported by the property insurance industry. The
organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural
disasters and other risks on residential and commercial property by
conducting building science research and advocating improved
construction, maintenance and preparedness practices.
Source: The Travelers Companies, Inc.
The Travelers Companies, Inc.