Zurich wins award for ‘outstanding’ disaster review program

"While events are natural, disasters are not," says expert

Zurich wins award for ‘outstanding’ disaster review program

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

Zurich Insurance has been recognized with an Outstanding Achievement Award from the 2019 National Hurricane Conference. The insurer earned the award for its work in developing and implementing its Post Event Review Capability (PERC) approach, an open-source methodology that evaluates how natural hazards turn into community disasters. PERC also provides recommendations to promote community resilience.

“We are honoured to be recognized by the National Hurricane Conference for our work to help communities, businesses and individuals learn from past disasters,” said Paul Lavelle, chief claims officer for Zurich North America. “The lessons learned from our database of knowledge can help all stakeholders take meaningful steps to become more resilient.”

The PERC methodology, created by the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance in 2013, has been applied to 14 severe-weather events around the world, including a post-event review on Hurricane Florence. PERC evaluates communities impacted by a disaster, conditions that were present in the community prior to the event, how it responded during the disaster, and how it recovered afterward.

“While events are natural, disasters are not,” said Michael Szoenyi, Zurich Insurance Group flood resilience program lead. “We have a choice whether and how we take action ahead of time to protect ourselves and build resilience. There are many lessons to be learned from each event that turned into a humanitarian catastrophe. Many are of striking similarity across the globe, and it’s this important learning – often overlooked – that our unique forensic investigation can bring to the fore and share with the public. We thus contribute directly to the United Nations strategy for disaster risk reduction.”

John Wilson, chair of the conference’s Awards Committee, commented: “The National Hurricane Conference is pleased to recognize Zurich Insurance with an award for their outstanding achievements.”

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