Farmers Insurance Group
Farmers Insurance Group Abstract Submission for Consideration as a Presenter at the 2014 American Meteorological Society Weather-Ready Nation Symposium on Building a Weather-Ready Nation: Enhancing Our Nation's Readiness, Responsiveness, and Resilience to High Impact Weather Events
Farmers Insurance is committed to reducing damage from natural catastrophes through the application of research, responsible public policy and better communications with all stakeholders. Consistent with our advertising message, Farmers has enacted numerous measures to make our customers “smarter about insurance, because what you don't know can hurt you". This includes the following projects:
I. Weather.com Partnership On July 31, 2013, Farmers and The Weather Channel launched a partnership to deliver a service that reflects Farmers' dedication to making our customers smarter and better prepared for the unexpected. Farmers Severe Weather Alerts, available on farmers.com, provide consumers an opportunity to receive text messages or emails about weather watches and warnings in their area, so they can better prepare for severe weather.
The Severe Weather Alerts are just one aspect of our comprehensive partnership with The Weather Channel. The campaign also includes TV, mobile, desktop and tablet media, and exclusive sponsorship of the popular "Weather Lab" segments that run throughout the day on The Weather Channel. The partnership is a perfect example of the ways we are helping to make our customers smarter. The Severe Weather Alerts not only help consumers plan for the unexpected, but they also demonstrate our commitment to catastrophe response and restoration.
II. IBHS Partnership Farmers Insurance is an original member of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), an independent, nonprofit, scientific research and communications organization based in Tampa, Florida and Richburg, South Carolina. IBHS works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks on residential and commercial property by conducting building science research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparedness practices. Farmers' commitment to IBHS includes funding the construction of the Research Center, sitting on the Board of Directors, and independently promoting the group's work through social media and advertising. In May 2013, Farmers produced the web video “Hail Yeah!” to draw attention to IBHS's hailstorm research.
III. The Joplin Playbook In May 2013, Farmers Insurance announced a long-term initiative called “Caring for Communities” to help with recovery efforts from devastating disasters through the dedication of resources, assets, expertise and financial commitments. The inaugural “Caring for Communities commitment is a partnership with Rebuild Joplin, a group that has worked tirelessly to help the community recover since the storm nearly two years ago. Farmers is partnering with Rebuild Joplin in the following ways:
• The entire Farmers employee base is encouraged to donate company time and energy to volunteering in Joplin, culminating in more than 8,500 volunteer hours. Employees will contribute towards rebuilding efforts and be called upon to leverage their deep first-hand experience with disaster response to improve the recovery efforts of Rebuild Joplin and others. • A senior level executive has moved to Joplin to oversee and expedite the rebuilding efforts and “Caring for Communities” initiative and to ensure the full efforts of the organization are applied to the area in order to make the biggest impact on recovery. • Farmers is contributing financially to help offset some of the costs associated with rebuilding and recovery.
To ensure Farmers' work in Joplin can help other communities in need when disaster strikes, Farmers will document the process and develop key lessons and best practices to create a Disaster Relief Recovery Plan. This step-by-step recovery playbook - The Joplin Playbook - will serve other communities in the aftermath of future disasters to help accelerate their recovery process.
IV. California Fire Safe Council Farmers is a long-time partner of the California Fire Safe Council (CFSC), a group focused on wildfire prevention activities that include education about defensible space and community fire planning. CFSC provides technical assistance to local groups--including homeowner associations, local government and fire departments--on organizational issues related to capacity building and sustainability. CFSC also holds numerous workshops throughout the state, teaching homeowners about new fire-resistant building materials and how to prepare for disasters. Farmers supports these workshops by providing experts to discuss emergency evacuation kits, how to make homes more is insurable, how to file an insurance claim, what customers should know about home inventory, and other important topics.
V. Proactive Legislation to Improve Disaster Resiliency Farmers supports federal and state proposals that we believe will improve overall disaster resiliency. We have encouraged our government affairs managers to educate elected officials and urge passage of important bills. During 2013 Farmers endorsed the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Resilience STAR pilot project, the National Windstorm Reduction Program Act of 2013, and the Safe Building Code Incentive Act. Farmers supports numerous proposals that offer individual and corporate tax incentives for more proactive disaster mitigation efforts. Farmers also was influential in the passage of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2012, which improved the floodplain map process and took measures to improve the nation's grasp of flood risk and the corresponding need for mitigation.
VI. Industry-leading Disaster Response with Sophisticated Mobile Claims Center Buses A fleet of 40 Customer Care Vehicles and three Mobile Claims Center buses enables Farmers to respond quickly to catastrophes. From tornados in Arkansas and Missouri to hailstorms in Texas, from hurricanes in Alabama to wildfires in California, Farmers is often the first insurer on the scene and provides immediate claims service to customers. Our disaster response teams also provide water, food, telephones, blankets, toys and helpful services to customers and non-customers alike.