Travelers Institute Hosts Wildfire Preparedness Event

April 9, 2019

Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety will present on the importance of maintenance and building material choices in reducing wildfire risk

HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), will host a symposium, “Mitigating Wildfire Risk,” today in Lone Tree, Colorado. Held in partnership with the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) and the Professional Independent Insurance Agents of Colorado, the event will explore the science of wildfires and the latest research on prevention and mitigation.

“Seconds, not minutes, can make all the difference in saving your property, and your life, when a wildfire is approaching,” said Joan Woodward, President of the Travelers Institute and Executive Vice President of Public Policy at Travelers. “In 2018, Colorado experienced some of the largest wildfires in its history. We hope this event helps to raise awareness about the importance of early preparation and provides practical steps for staying safe and protecting property.”

Today’s event will begin at noon Mountain time and will feature a presentation, “Wildfire Today: Inside the Science that Drives Resilience,” from Roy Wright, President and Chief Executive Officer of IBHS. Woodward will then moderate a panel discussion with the following experts:

  • Daniel Gorham, Research Engineer, IBHS.
  • Eric Nelson, Senior Vice President, Catastrophe Risk Management, Travelers.
  • Carole Walker, Executive Director, Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.
  • Thomas Welle, Manager, Denver Field Office, National Fire Protection Association.

IBHS will be presenting findings from its extensive research on wildfire risks and effective protection techniques and will also be sharing a video that contrasts how two homes — one built and landscaped to be wildfire resistant and the other built and maintained to common standards — fared in a simulated wildfire ember storm.

“Education is essential to help reduce the risks posed by these deadly fires,” said Wright. “Many people are unaware that 90 percent of homes and buildings damaged or destroyed during a wildfire were first ignited by windborne embers or other fires that were set by embers, and not by the wall of flames we imagine. With that in mind, it’s important to take precautions, such as maintaining a defensible space — including a 5-foot noncombustible zone — to help keep your home safe in the event a wildfire breaks out in your area.”

Travelers recommends the following precautions to help keep families, employees and property safe:

  • Regularly clean gutters of materials that could ignite due to windborne embers and trim tree limbs that may be too close to buildings.
  • Use shrubs and trees that are more resistant to fire when landscaping property. Rock, stone, crushed concrete, flower beds and gardens can provide ground cover for bare spaces and may act as fire breakers.
  • Prepare a survival kit, map out an evacuation plan and create a home inventory of all belongings. Review emergency plans and be sure to designate a meeting place in case of separation during evacuation.

For more information on how to prepare for a wildfire, click here.

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 to the financial services industry more broadly. The Travelers Institute draws upon the industry expertise of Travelers’ senior management, as well as the technical expertise of many of Travelers’ underwriters, risk managers and other experts to provide information, analysis and solutions to public policymakers and regulators. Travelers is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. For more information, visit

Stephanie Arpin, 860.277.8876

Source: The Travelers Companies, Inc.