Snowzilla will Return; PCI Says Take a Winter Storm Reality Check and be Ready

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is urging
property owners to take a winter storm preparation reality check,
because you never know when the next snowpocalypse or snowmageddon will

While there are many fun, hyperbolic names for winter storms, the
reality is that these severe weather events caused $3.5 billion in
insured property losses last year. To help motorists and homeowners
protect their property during the harsh winter months, PCI is launching
its Winter
Storm Preparedness Reality Check
campaign and quiz.
PCI is encouraging consumers to follow a few simple tips and take steps
to ensure they are ready for the next Arctic blast and winter storm

NOAA’s Climate
Prediction Center
is expecting La Nina to develop which could bring
a drier, warmer winter in the southern U.S. and wetter, cooler
conditions in the northern U.S. If La Nina conditions materialize it
often results in above average snowfall around the Great Lakes and in
the northern Rockies and below average snowfall in the mid-Atlantic.

No matter what the forecast trends are, wet, wintery roads could
dominate the landscape and contribute to more car crashes this season.
This comes as the U.S. is experiencing a dramatic rise in the number of
auto accidents and fatalities. Traffic deaths rose 10.4 percent in the
first half of 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA).

“Roads are particularly hazardous in the winter months and the dangers
can be compounded by distracted driving,” said Robert Passmore,
assistant vice president personal lines, policy for PCI. “It pays to
take precautions so that you are ready for the inevitable snow, ice and
cold and essential to avoid distracted driving this winter.”

Winter storms can cause significant
not only for drivers but also for homeowners. Extreme
weather, burst pipes, tree limbs falling, roof or deck collapses can add
up to record numbers of insurance claims. However, insurers are ready to
work with consumers to minimize the inconveniences and help make the
claims process go as smoothly as possible if consumers face damage.

At least once a year talk with your insurance agent or company to review
your policy. And, whenever
severe weather occurs
, insurers are prepared to work with consumers
to minimize the inconveniences and help make the claims process go as
smoothly as possible.

PCI encourages consumers to take a winter storm preparation reality
check by following these tips for winter storms:

Winter Driving Tips:

  • Hazardous road conditions make it even more important to take safety
    precautions and drive defensively. Slow down and keep extra distance
    between your car and other vehicles.
  • Winterize your car by checking your antifreeze, battery, tires and
    windshield wiper fluid. Make sure your headlights, taillights and
    emergency flashers are working.
  • Prepare an emergency travel kit with items such as blankets, jumper
    cables, a shovel, a flashlight, salt, flares and other emergency
    supplies. A toolkit, bottled water and snack food are also useful
    items to include.
  • Keep at least half of a tank of gas in your car at all times.

Cold Weather Homeowners Tips:

  • Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. It is
    important to keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from heating
    equip (furnace, fireplace, wood stove, and portable heater)
  • Frozen water pipes represent the biggest potential problem for most
    homes. A little advance planning will usually prevent frozen pipes.
  • Insulate pipes, especially those leading to the outside, and plug
    holes around the pipes with insulation or spray-in foam. Make sure
    there is warm air flowing around pipes that are located near an
    outside wall. Check pipes under sinks to make sure they will get
    adequate heat.
  • Make sure there is clear access to the main water shut-off valve in
    case there is a leak or a pipe suddenly bursts.

PCI is composed of nearly 1,000 member companies, representing the
broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association.
PCI members write more than $183 billion in annual premium, 35 percent
of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 42
percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 27 percent of the
homeowners market, 32 percent of the commercial property and liability
market and 34 percent of the private workers compensation market.


Jeffrey Brewer