According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Superstorm Sandy affected 16 states causing unprecedented damage to the East Coast. As a result of the storm, businesses including insurers have pledged more than $123 million to support recovery efforts, with two thirds of corporate aid coming in the form of direct monetary donations to charity organizations like the American Red Cross.
“Hurricane Sandy’s winds, rains and snow brought devastation and uncertainty to millions of people. The impact of Hurricane Sandy will be felt up and down the East Coast and even further West, and the road to recovery will be long for many families,” said Neal Litvack, American Red Cross chief development officer.
The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) Northeast division has committed to a donation of $50,000 from its reserves to the American Red Cross for relief efforts after Superstorm Sandy. Also, the IICF national board of governors has matched the donation with an additional $50,000 pledge.
“The Red Cross is a proven performer in crisis response, and its efforts and leadership have already sustained many lives since the storm hit the East Coast,” said Elizabeth Myatt, executive director of the Northeast Division.
“The IICF gift demonstrates the collective concern of the entire industry during this time of need in our community in the New York tri-state area,” said Myatt.
The following is a partial listing of insurers contributing monetary and other aid to Sandy storm victims:
• The ACE Charitable Foundation made a donation of $250,000 to the American Red Cross to support disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. In addition, the foundation has organized a campaign for donations from ACE’s U.S. employees that it will match 100 percent. “This storm struck at the heart of areas where many of our employees and customers are based,” said Evan Greenberg, chairman & chief executive officer of ACE Limited. “We want to offer our support in helping residents throughout the area recover in the difficult weeks and months ahead.”
• The Travelers Companies announced a donation of $800,000 to disaster relief efforts in the New York tri-state area. Travelers will contribute $200,000 to each of the following organizations: the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, the American Red Cross on Long Island, Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund and the American Red Cross of Connecticut
• The QBE Foundation announced a donation of $50,000 to the American Red Cross in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. According to QBE North America President and Chief Executive Officer John Rumpler, the donation is directed to assist the Red Cross in providing shelter, food and other assistance to area residents who have been affected by the storm. “As a New York City-based business with many employees in the area, QBE is committed to helping take care of those who are suffering the impacts of this devastating storm,” he said. “Helping people get on their feet after this catastrophe will certainly aid in their success in returning to work and continuing to be productive citizens.”
• Nationwide Insurance sent humanitarian relief teams to New York and Pennsylvania. The teams provided water, antibacterial wipes, personal hygiene items and other goods. In addition, the company announced a $300,000 donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund for Sandy Response. Sandy caused widespread devastation to entire communities throughout this region as evidenced by more than 21,000 claims that have already been made through Nationwide’s agents and call centers. “We are compassionate about how the devastation is affecting people right now and the impact it has caused in their personal lives,” said Chad Jester, president of the Nationwide Insurance Foundation. “We want to make every effort possible to help the victims of this terrible disaster work toward recovery.”
• State Farm provides an annual donation of $1 million to the American Red Cross to be used for disasters within the calendar year. The company has also committed up to $250,000 in additional aid to non-profit organizations in the impacted regions due to Sandy.
• The Hartford made a $250,000 contribution to the American Red Cross disaster relief efforts. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by Storm Sandy, and the many who continue to be in harm’s way,” said Liam E. McGee, The Hartford’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “On behalf of my teammates at The Hartford, we thank the emergency personnel and volunteers who are engaged in the public service of responding to this storm and hope for a quick recovery.”
• Wells Fargo & Co. donated $1 million for relief efforts. A portion of the funds, $250,000, will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to support relief efforts the agency is directing throughout impacted areas in the region. The remaining $750,000 will go to support nonprofits conducting grassroots relief and recovery efforts in affected areas. “The coming days and weeks are going to be difficult for those impacted by this devastating, historic storm and Wells Fargo wants to help,” said Michelle Lee, Northeast regional president, Community Banking. “Our donation to the American Red Cross will help immediate relief efforts while our donations to local non-profits will support longer-term efforts that will be needed in storm-hit communities and neighborhoods.
• The Allstate Foundation announced that up to $1.2 million for Sandy relief and recovery efforts will be available through the creation of a recovery fund and a company match. The new fund, supported through a $1 million allocation from The Allstate Foundation, supported local nonprofit organizations in affected areas that have capacity and capabilities but need resources to help people rebuild their lives. The Allstate Foundation will use its national reach into local communities to identify eligible nonprofit organizations. Local relationships of Allstate agents will be leveraged with awards made to organizations where agency owners volunteer. The identified nonprofits will be eligible for grants up to $5,000
• Chubb Corp. has established a $1,000,000 fund for disaster relief efforts.
• The MetLife Foundation has pledged $1 million toward relief and rebuilding efforts, including $500,000 to the American Red Cross and $500,000 to support long-term recovery needs.
• W. R. Berkley Corp. its employees, and the Berkley Family contributed in excess of a half a million dollars to the victims of Superstorm/Hurricane Sandy. The donations supported nonprofit organizations in affected areas that have committed to using these funds only to assist the victims of Sandy.
Editor’s Note: If you know of other insurance industry disaster assistance and contributions above and beyond claims obligations, please let readers know in the comment section.