As we head into March signs of Spring are all around! First Daylight Saving Time (March 11th), then St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) and finally the First Day of Spring (March 20th). The excitement level is high as we prepare to thaw and de-winterize here in the Northwest. However, across the US springtime is a costly and potentially deadly time of year due to tornados, hurricanes, flooding, etc. Not having to contend with these natural disasters locally is something we should truly be thankful for.
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The headlines of 2011 marked the worst year ever recorded for insured losses across the globe. Worldwide natural disasters – earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, winter storms, and unusual freakish weather. With over $100 billion in insured losses in 2011 the insurance industry is providing the money to rebuild homes, buildings, critical infrastructure, and lost revenues for the tens of thousands devastated by natural disasters.
The federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”) announced that in 2011 the U.S. was the site of 12 separate disasters, each of which caused at least $1 billion in aggregate damage. The previous record, set in 2008, was nine. According to the Insurance Information Institute (the “I.I.I.”), insurance companies will pay more than $32 billion in claims here in the US.
In 2012 it appears we are seeing the end to the insurance “soft market cycle” and rising prices are on the horizon. Even with the record financial hit in 2011 the insurance industry remains strong. But, 2012 may bring more of the same or even worse natural disasters. So, the industry must look to replenish reserves to stay healthy. Over the last six years, business insurance pricing has been discounted up to 40% and personal insurance has seen some reductions or held steady in the face of rising costs.
One would think that with 2011 being a record breaking year that insurance rates would dramatically increase. Fortunately, only small, modest price increases are expected here in the Pacific Northwest, while changes will be more dramatic in other parts of the country. Here are some examples of what we might expect in 2012 . . .
Homeowners / Property – expect pricing increases from +5% to +10%. The homeowners – property line of insurance is the hardest hit by claims and has not been as profitable over the last 5 years for most insurance companies.
Small Business – property/casualty pricing changes from 0% to +10%. Many small business owners can expect no change in rates. Increased rates will be targeted to business with claim experience and those in higher risk industries. A general increase is needed and expected in the property and business auto portions of package policies.
While no one can control Mother Nature we can be prepared in the event of a natural disaster. The best method of preparation is to have a guide such as the one offered by FEMA.
As part of your readiness plan Please know that we here at ServiceMaster Emergency Services by Covington are here to assist. In the event of a disaster we look forward to earning your trust, respect and business.
Don’t forget this Sunday March 11th, at 2:00 AM marks the switch to Daylight Saving Time. It’s time to Spring Forward by setting your clocks ahead one hour. For those with Sunday morning plans consider setting your clocks ahead 1 hour before you go to sleep on Saturday evening.
This is also the time of year when fire departments across the country suggest changing the batteries in your smoke detectors. It is estimated that over 90% of the homes in the US have smoke detectors yet over 1/3 have dead or no batteries.
Why all the hassle? Daylight Saving Time, first established in 1918, is designed to add an hour of sunlight to the end of the day during the warm weather months, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The period of time was extended in 2007 by one month to encourage energy savings, and now runs from 2 a.m. the second Sunday of March (March 11) to 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November.
Though it’s still in effect in most U.S. states, many experts say it’s no longer necessary. National Geographic reported in December that several studies in recent years prove that Daylight Saving Time doesn’t actually save energy-and it might even result in an energy loss in the long run.
Whatever the reason or rationale as of today Daylight Saving Time is still in effect so please remember to change those clocks and batteries!
Covington Construction & Restoration Builders Inc. is a full service general contractor licensed in Washington and Idaho with offices in both states. We specialize in residential and commercial insurance repairs with extensive experience in both areas. Whether it’s a small repair or a complete loss (re-build) we will treat your home and office building like it is our property.
Covington Construction and Restoration Builders Inc. – We Build Quality!