Expect the Unexpected: Is Your Institution Prepared for a Natural Disaster?
The past two years have produced significant natural disasters, including 2017 Hurricane’s Irma, Harvey and Maria; 2018 Hurricane’s Florence and Michael; 2017/2018 California wildfires and more. Educational institutions in Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, California and more have suffered catastrophic losses. The nature of an educational campus, often serving as a business, an employer and a residence for its students and faculty, creates added risk in the event of a devastating natural disaster.
In 2018, The U.S. Department of Education granted $63 million in aid to education institutions in these regions to help fund campus reconstruction and services for students and faculty at risk for homelessness.
These recent disasters have propelled loss trends towards the worst ever for catastrophic losses for the property and casualty industry. These trends have resulted in rate increases in the commercial property and flood market. According to The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB) Commercial Property/Casualty Market Index for Q1 of 2019, average commercial property rate increases of close to 6 percent are common with coastal locations experiencing greater rate impacts. Previously, the industry had been experiencing a steady 3 percent per quarter increase.
Additionally, It is critical to ensure that your campus population is as safe as possible in a natural disaster through an effective natural disaster preparedness program. Just as important as having a plan, effective communication before, during and after a storm is critical for education institutions. The FEMA Emergency Management Higher Education Program is a great resource to begin creating “an emergency management system of sustained, replicable capability and disaster loss reduction through formal education, experiential learning, practice, and experience centered on mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery from the full range of natural, technological and intentional hazards.”
With the 2019 Hurricane season on the horizon, now is the time to consider whether your institution is prepared for a potential natural disaster and determining if there are risk mitigation steps you can take to keep your campus population safe, reduce the impact of an incident and help keep your premiums down.
The issue of Natural Disasters was ranked as one of the top risks for education institutions in the RCM&D report 2019 Outlook: Top Risks for Education Institutions. To receive a copy of the full report, please complete the form to the right.