While last year’s hurricane season as a whole was notable, three unique storms stand above the rest: Harvey for its rapid intensification and record-setting rainfall, Irma for its sheer size and ferocity and Maria for the devastation it caused in Puerto Rico. As many of the season’s storms threatened the continental U.S., PURE’s catastrophe response team directed internal and external resources to help our members protect their homes and families.
HURRICANE RESPONSE EFFORTS
Data and technology allowed us to identify members who were most likely to experience significant damage. Before Irma made landfall, and again a few weeks later as Nate approached, PURE Member Advocates® introduced themselves to these members as their pre-assigned, dedicated contacts. If a member needed to report a claim or required assistance following the storm, they could simply reply to their Member Advocate’s email to start the process.
Our teams on the ground pivoted quickly in response to the storms’ changing paths. PURE team members traveled from all over the country to help direct response efforts and assess damage, and as the forecast changed, we shifted the number and placement of adjusters on the ground.
HOMES BUILT BEFORE 2002 SUFFERED AN AVERAGE OF 5X MORE DAMAGE THAN NEWER HOMES DID.
The team was determined to reach members’ homes even when roads were impassable. After southern areas of the Florida Keys had been inaccessible for days, one of PURE’s Claims Adjusters (a former Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army and current Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves) rappelled into the neighborhood from a helicopter. The Haven Art Group also sourced boats from local residents to help evacuate fine art and other high-value possessions during Hurricane Harvey.
We provided critical resources that our members needed. For example, fuel was in short supply following Hurricane Irma, and many of our members needed it to keep their generators running. One member’s daughter was recovering from heart surgery, and her medication required refrigeration. When we heard about this situation and others like it, we arranged for propane to be delivered to Florida and distributed to members.
A core assumption of PURE's underwriting selection model is that newer, well-built homes are safer and more resilient. Hurricane Irma reaffirmed this assumption. After analyzing the damages to members’ homes near the storm’s landfall, we found that the cost of damage to homes built before 2002 was an average of five times more than the cost of damage to newer homes.
Partnership with the NFIP.
PURE partners with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as a Write Your Own (WYO) carrier, allowing us to offer primary flood coverage that is financially backed by FEMA and serviced by PURE. You can then add one of PURE’s broadening or excess flood endorsements, allowing you to customize your coverage and increase your limits—up to the full value of your home.
If you have a PURE Homeowners policy and primary flood coverage administered by PURE, we are able to provide a single adjuster to assist you with a claim, even if your home sustained both flood and wind damage. This provides you with a single point of contact, accelerates the claims process and enables faster payment. In fact, FEMA recognized PURE as the fastest insurance carrier to make advance payments following Hurricane Harvey.
Agreed Value coverage.
As many as 1,000,000 vehicles along the Texas Gulf Coast were flooded during Hurricane Harvey. Of those insured by PURE, 90 percent were deemed total losses. The efficiency created by PURE’s Agreed Value coverage allowed our Claims team to settle these losses quickly so members could get back on the road as soon as possible.
PURE’S AUTOMOBILE POLICY PROVIDES AGREED VALUE COVERAGE FOR TOTALED CARS, WHICH MEANS WE PAY A STRAIGHTFORWARD, PREVIOUSLY AGREED-UPON AMOUNT WITHOUT APPLYING A DEDUCTIBLE.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, insurers were liberal in declaring most “wet” vehicles to be total losses. Once an insurer pays a total loss on a car, they typically attempt to sell its remains in a process called salvage. Because so many usable auto parts entered the salvage market at one time, it’s reasonable to assume that the excess supply could have significantly reduced prices paid. However, many of the parts remained in pristine condition, so we have instead seen greater returns on our salvage from this event than we typically see when selling a vehicle damaged in a crash. We are recovering about 29 cents on every dollar we paid to our members.