Many U.S. Businesses Still Not Adequately Prepared One Year After Superstorm
Leading insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty’s Risk Bulletin warns
businesses to take preparation more seriously as one-year anniversary
NEW YORK -- October 15, 2013
As the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy approaches in late October,
Allianz Group’s specialist corporate insurer, Allianz Global Corporate &
Specialty (AGCS), warns that while there is heightened awareness, many
businesses have not yet implemented adequate changes.
A new Risk Bulletin from AGCS entitled ‘Superstorm Sandy: Lessons Learned - a
Risk Management Perspective’ examines the cost of the disaster and outlines
what businesses need to do now to ensure they can mitigate the adverse
financial impact of future storm events.
Many AGCS customers were hit hard by Sandy, with the insurer responding to
nearly 900 claims ranging from damaged cargo to flooded premises, and
resulting in a total financial impact for AGCS of $113 million. Despite the
immediate disruption, AGCS claims adjusters were deployed to clients
immediately following the storm and issued the first advance payment of $2
million within 48 hours.
“Many businesses are not as prepared as they could be. Today, businesses need
to prepare for the new normal of weather events and this can be a laborious
process,” said Tom Varney, Regional Manager for Allianz Risk Consulting in the
Americas. “For many companies it takes time—in some cases years—to appropriate
funding and actually make the much needed changes. For others it may just be
about focusing on the right things at the right time. Allianz is committed to
helping clients identify vulnerabilities, mitigate risk and be as prepared as
Superstorm Sandy was the deadliest windstorm in the northeastern United States
in 40 years and the second most costly in the nation’s history with many
businesses and individuals still recovering from its damage. As terrible as
the storm was, there are important business lessons to be learned in its
Allianz has identified four key steps businesses can implement now to be
better prepared for future extreme weather events:
1.Update and test emergency preparedness plans: Preparation before the storm
minimizes property damage and reduces business interruption. Allianz
recommends that every business has a comprehensive written emergency
response plan that is reviewed and tested annually. A good plan has the
support of senior management, site-specific recommendations and clear
delineation of responsibilities. Allianz risk consultants routinely help
draft, review and evaluate clients’ emergency plans and offer specific
recommendations for improvements.
2.Review business contingency plans: The crucial role of business
contingency plans has become more apparent as a result of recent natural
catastrophes. Sandy hit the Northeast on a Monday, which made it difficult
for employees to develop and implement business contingency plans while
preparing their homes and families for the storm. A well-developed
contingency plan provides businesses with the tools to get back up and
running as quickly as possible.
For many companies, business contingency plans must take a global view as
supply chains continue to expand, particularly in Asia and Latin America.
Allianz’ Managing Disruptions Report examines the complexities of supply
chains and how insurers and industries can make them more resilient.
3.Understand your insurance policy: Business owners should take the time to
read their current policy and discuss with their brokers what is covered
and where there may be gaps. Determine if the limits of liability are in
line with the current dollar value of the cost to repair or replace the
damage. Consider adding an extended period of indemnity clause to the
business interruption coverage to support the business until it returns to
its pre-loss financial condition.
4.Know what to prepare for: Planning for a windstorm involves different
preparation than planning for flooding. In the case of Sandy, the storm
came ashore at high tide on a full, harvest moon. Full moon conditions at
the onset of a hurricane lead to increased storm surge heights and the
potential for more severe flooding. The majority of Sandy preparation was
based on a high wind event, leaving many businesses unprepared for the
flooding caused by the storm surge. As more sophisticated tracking models
are introduced in the wake of the storm, more accurate information will be
available. Allianz routinely notifies clients of approaching storms and
provides guidance on how best to prepare, including flood, wind storm
checklists and loss prevention kits.
The AGCS Risk Bulletin also features expert commentary from AGCS specialists:
*Hurricane expert, Andrew Higgins from Allianz Risk Consulting, focuses on
whether storm activity in the New York area is on the rise and how
businesses can best protect their properties from flood damage.
*Terry Campbell, AGCS’s Head of Marine Claims, Americas, discusses how the
insurance sector was able to respond to a number of challenges posed by
Sandy and settle claims quickly, helping businesses to get back on their
About Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) is the Allianz Group's dedicated
carrier for corporate and specialty insurance business.
AGCS Americas has over 1,000 employees across 20 major cities in the U.S.,
Canada and South America with head offices in New York and Chicago. The
Company’s engineers, underwriters and claims specialists have deep expertise
in insurance and risk management in marine, aviation, energy, property,
casualty and construction, with gross premiums in the Americas totaling
U.S.$1.8 billion in 2012.
Worldwide, AGCS has offices in 27 countries and operates in more than 160
countries through the Allianz Group network and partners. AGCS employs more
than 3,500 people and provides insurance solutions to more than half of the
Fortune Global 500 companies, writing a total of €5.3 billion gross premium
worldwide annually (2012).
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty has a Financial Strength Rating of AA
('Very Strong') from Standard & Poor’s and of A+ ('Superior') from A.M. Best
(as of 2013).
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and Exchange Commission. The company assumes no obligation to update any
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Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, New York
Annika Schuenemann,+1 646-472-1580
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