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Kathy Burger
Kathy Burger
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5 Reasons Why Hurricane Andrew Still Matters

In the 20 years since Hurricane Andrew hit south Florida on August 24, 1992, there have been more damaging hurricanes and natural catastrophes, but no other event has had as much impact on the insurance industry. To kick off I&T’s special coverage of Hurricane Andrew’s 20th anniversary, here’s a look at the catastrophe and how it has changed the industry.
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5. Stronger Buildings Result in Fewer Losses

Some experts contend that the most significant Hurricane Andrew has had on the insurance industry and other businesses was the creation of a statewide building code system in Florida. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida now regulates the inspection and enforcement of building codes and requires training and licensing for building officials and contractors, and also requires continuing education. Another change from the pre-Andrew era: Building officials and contractors can be disciplined for not meeting these requirements. The strict regulation was not implemented until 2001, but today Florida’s building code is considered one of the best in the country. Concrete or cinder block-based construction generally has replaced stick-built construction. And following Hurricane Andrew the state also adopted the wind provisions standard from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Not all states that are vulnerable to hurricanes have followed Florida’s lead on building codes, but adoption of stricter codes has been a significant factor in preventing even greater losses after a catastrophe.

Source: Tampa Bay Times

[More coverage of the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew: Learning the Lessons of Hurricane Andrew.]

Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio

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