1. Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy
Sure, the industry got a bit of a warmup on a major tropical storm hitting the Northeast with last year's Irene, but Sandy was the real deal, inundating Manhattan and the Jersey Shore, wiping out entire neighborhoods in the outer boroughs and in Long Island and Westchester, and hearkening back to the 1970s with gas shortages. Insurance companies — once they got their own houses in order — mobilized to adjust and evaluate claims, but even six weeks after the event consumers and regulators are expressing frustration with the slow pace of payments.
And it’s unlikely that insurers’ reputations will get any better after the cleanup is complete. Premiums are expected to rise up and down the eastern seaboard — especially since reinsurance costs will go up — and underwriting standards will be tougher in all coastal areas as well. The storm also has implications for the federal flood insurance program, which more people, surprised that they weren’t already covered for flooding, are sure to want in on.
[Looks Like the Models Were Right After All]
Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio