South Carolina Coastal Risk Conference Garners Insurer Support

September 18, 2008

The American Insurance Association is participating in this week’s conference “Out of the Storm: Confronting America’s Catastrophic Risk Crisis,” organized by the South Carolina Department of Insurance and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The conference, ongoing through Sept. 19 in Hilton Head, S.C., brings together a wide range of experts to discuss both private and public sector solutions to the challenge of how best to protect coastal communities from the growing threat of natural catastrophes.

“AIA believes this conference is extremely timely,” said Debra Ballen, AIA executive vice president, and a conference speaker, “and we congratulate Competitive Enterprise Institute and the S.C. Department of Insurance for their foresight in bringing together this event. The 2008 hurricane season has already seen billions of dollars in damage done to our country, as catastrophic hurricanes and tropical storms have affected millions of Americans living on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts as well as in inland communities. How we as a nation successfully manage catastrophic risk is an issue whose time has come, and now is the time for the public and private sectors to come together and determine how we can best protect communities in harm’s way.”

The conference features a number of authorities on catastrophic risk, including regulators and legislators from coastal states, insurance company executives, state and national insurance and reinsurance trade organizations, risk modelers, and business and environmental organizations.

“AIA looks forward to a lively debate from conference panelists and participants,” said Raymond G. Farmer, AIA assistant vice president, southeast region, “as there is no shortage of public policy challenges and opportunities we are facing. Just next door in North Carolina, a legislative study committee begins meetings this month to determine if and how to reform that state’s Beach Plan, and in South Carolina and Florida more consumers are understanding the value of mitigation with the help of state-sponsored grants and tax credits. Meanwhile, Hurricane Ike’s devastation is likely to put financial strains on the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, and on the federal front we are facing a Sept. 30 deadline for congressional reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program.”

Source: American Insurance Association