2017 was among the top ten most active catastrophe years on record. From August to December alone, the membership was faced with 15 catastrophic weather events. Two Category 4 hurricanes and one Category 1 made landfall in the continental U.S. Flooding in New England left over 1,000,000 homes and businesses without power. One of the most severe wildfire seasons in California’s history destroyed entire communities. And the Midwest faced hailstorms and tornadoes.
Our strict underwriting selection model ensures that we allow only the most responsible owners of the finest-built homes into the membership. This generally results in fewer claims overall and makes the company more resilient in the face of catastrophic events. In addition, our geographically diversified growth helps reduce the severity of any one catastrophic event. Despite the fact that catastrophes impacted three of our four largest markets, PURE’s loss ratio (the ratio of claims paid relative to premiums collected) was lower than the industry average by a significant margin.
During a catastrophe and the subsequent recovery period, our membership looks to us. PURE is prepared for events like this—financially and operationally—so we can help our members get back on their feet.
SERVING OUR MEMBERSHIP
The quick succession in which the major events occurred could have placed pressure on PURE’s team and our ability to deploy resources quickly. Adding to the gravity of the situation were Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico and parts of the Caribbean, and a significant earthquake in Central Mexico. Restoration services, temporary housing, building materials and other immediate needs throughout North America were scarce and in high demand. However, PURE’s catastrophe response team had proactively established detailed plans and built a network of emergency-response and restoration partners dedicated exclusively to our membership.
Even as claim volume spiked, most incoming calls were still taken by licensed Claims Adjusters—not call center representatives—so that members only needed to tell their story once, and the claims process could begin immediately. During Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, many employees with claims-response backgrounds pivoted from their typical roles to assist PURE Member Advocates® and adjusters with incoming claims.
Member Advocates also helped members find alternative accommodations, protect fine art collections with guidance from The Haven Art Group, connect with our response resources on the ground and manage other aspects of the recovery process.
And for members who were not directly impacted by catastrophes, life went on as usual: auto accidents still happened, and precious stones were still lost from heirloom rings. Throughout these events, Member Advocates assisted members whether their claims were catastrophe related or not.