A Letter From Our President & CEO
"I felt like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz."
-A Hurricane Harvey survivor whose home was ripped apart by the storm
After a long respite, the Atlantic hurricane risk returned with a vengeance this summer, with Harvey and Irma striking Texas, Florida, and other states in quick succession. Not long afterward Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and served as a jarring reminder of the potential destructive power that can be wrought by a storm. Long after the storm has passed, communities remain devastated both by the property damage sustained and resultant lack of power.
Community — that is the concept I’d like to emphasize as I write to you today.
We saw many examples of the power of community in the wake of this year’s storms. In reaction to Harvey’s flooding of Houston and surrounding areas, untold numbers of citizens drove to the area with their watercraft to rescue those who were stranded. Private businesses were converted into shelters. Supplies arrived from all over the country to help those in need. Over and over again, strangers helped strangers, and thereby became something much more than that.
As an insurance carrier together with you, our partners, we all strive to be positive members of the communities we serve. When a severe storm occurs, we do this by ensuring we have more than adequate resources to respond to our customers who have sustained losses. We do this by treating them with compassion, not as commodities. We do this by extending them the same respect we would desire after having our lives disrupted by such an event.
The recent storms also demonstrate how we can be valuable to our fellow community members long before a storm presents itself. As insurance professionals, we can help our customers understand the risks they face and how best to respond to them with insurance products. The staggering amount of uninsured flood damages sustained this summer are a striking example of the importance to consumers of obtaining adequate coverage. We can incentivize methods of construction that will better withstand the tests of Mother Nature. By continuing to educate consumers and craft affordable, innovative products for residents of risk-prone areas, we become a valuable part of the fabric of our communities.
We are proud of the efforts of our team and all the partners that have supported our catastrophe response operations during the last few months, together we have been able to provide “best in class” response and service to our customers without impacting our day to day operations. We have come out of the storms, smarter, stronger, battled-tested and prepared take the next steps in our evolution. Our focus has never been clearer.