Stormy Weather

Well, it’s finally springtime, and up here in Connecticut that means the snow has finally melted. It doesn’t mean the weather’s nice; we’ve had a few nice days but it’s been cold and rainy mostly; today is rainy and mid-forties which means it’s a great day to stay in and work. Inconvenient, a bit depressing, but nothing to get alarmed about.
There’s a bunch of folks in the southern part of the US that WISH they could say that. They’d trade a cold, depressing day in a heartbeat for their tornadoes and flash flooding. When weather ceases to be an inconvenience and becomes a threat to life and property, well, that’s the game changer. And in the springtime, unfortunately, this has been an altogether too frequent occurrence for much of the country.
I’m not here to discuss global warming or anything like that; what I know about meteorology I learned from my local TV weatherman so that isn’t much. But I do know a couple of things. The weather has been changing over the past ten years, and it has become more severe on a more consistent basis. Once-in-a-hundred years weather events now are frequent. And the insurance industry has been having a conniption and a half dealing with these changes as well.
The price of property insurance has been climbing a lot, both due to direct losses and the cost of reinsurance, which is insurance that insurance companies buy to protect themselves from catastrophes. Since the weather has been so unpredictable the pricing methods that have been used in the past no longer apply. One of my companies hired not one, but two PHDs in meteorology to help their property insurance pricing department. That’s a lot of serious ka-ching to do that, and it illustrates the gravity of the problem.
The good news is that if you have race car insurance through my program, the insurance protects you from all these acts of God. Flooding, hail damage, tornadoes, hurricanes, mudslides; they’re all covered. That’s the good news. But as I’ve said before, no insurance claim is fun, and they all cost time and money regardless of what insurance you have. So the best way to protect yourself is to let someone else have the loss, and be the one with the paid insurance and the safe stuff.
When it comes to weather, that means thinking things through and having a plan. There’s no one thing that will keep you safe from weather-related claims. The thing to do is think about what CAN happen. For example, some parts of the country are more susceptible than others to hail and tornado damage. If those are coming, what can you do? Can you more your car or trailer to another location ahead of the storm? Something as simple as moving a trailer away from trees which can fall and damage it can save you from a loss. Can you make the trailer easy for YOU to move it quickly out of harm’s way? If a hailstorm, can you move it under something that will keep it from being dented?
Some solutions are almost too simple. If you are experiencing windy conditions, roll up your awning and put it out of harm’s way. If it’s snowy, shovel off the roof the trailer so it can’t leak, or collapse due to the weight of the snow. But remember, you not only have to think about solutions, you have to implement them. Relying on insurance to cover preventable losses will work in the short run, but not the long run. The best way to keep your insurance costs minimal over time is to have the lowest number of losses that you can. That way, you’ll be protected, and you won’t pay an arm and a leg. Be careful out there!


About wildbill426

Owner of and Horton Insurance Services. Insurance agent and drag racer.
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