Hurricane Dorian, a category five storm, originated in the Caribbean and most severely struck the Bahamas on September 1, leaving behind at least $7 billion of damage including both insured and uninsured losses. The storm then made its way up the east coast of North America, first hitting North Carolina five days later. P&C insurers promptly responded―15 out of the 19 P&C Insurance Monitor coverage group firms either posted on social media, added public site banner alerts and created dedicated support pages, or released press releases with tips and resources. The timing of the hurricane coincides with National Preparedness Month, which only two firms have promoted: Esurance and Farmers.
Most firms shared resources on social media or linked to their Claims Centers or File a Claim pages from homepage banner alerts. Homesite shared a last-minute checklist on Twitter with four steps: prepare to evacuate, prepare outside surroundings, protect windows and doors, and reduce water damage risks. Nationwide promoted its PREPARE method video on Facebook; the video advocates packing an emergency kit, storing a three-day water plan, establishing and practicing a disaster plan, packing an emergency bag, respecting the warnings of local officials, recording insurance policy numbers and downloading apps to submit claims.
Although most coverage group firms limited their activity to social media posts and banner alerts, some went above and beyond by providing additional resources on dedicated pages and publishing news releases. Amica offered a particularly extensive suite of Hurricane Dorian-focused resources―the firm promoted its Storm Center on Facebook and Twitter, as well as adding a homepage banner alert and creating a dedicated Prepare for Hurricane Dorian page that linked to several preparedness articles, emergency resources and state-specific resources. Chubb also provided resources in multiple site locations, including the Claims Center‘s homepage banner image and the North American Newsroom’s Catastrophe Center, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. State Farm released a news article that displayed a map of the hurricane’s trajectory, provided tips and resources, and featured an embedded video about preparing for a catastrophe claim.
In addition to acknowledging Dorian, Esurance and Farmers highlighted National Preparedness Month on Facebook and Twitter. Each September, the U.S. Government promotes community disaster and emergency planning with both an overarching theme and individual weekly themes. The 2019 theme is “Prepared, Not Scared,” which aims to remind Americans to establish emergency plans and learn life-saving skills. Esurance shared a video on Twitter about how to create an emergency plan in three steps, while Farmers shared a video on Facebook featuring its Catastrophe Response Team. The team gave tips such as preparing an emergency kit, grabbing valuable items before evacuating and having cash on hand. The firm also created a dedicated Start Preparing page with natural disaster resources, including articles, an embedded video and a link to a survey to help Americans determine how prepared they are for natural disasters.
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