Tim Heinze, head of XL GAPS, said: “Through our enhanced wind analysis services and our expanded global team of risk engineers, XL GAPS can provide valuable insight and direction to commercial property owners. We can offer detailed exposure analysis, recommendations to implement adequate property protection systems, and help developing effective pre-emergency plans.”
“With the increase in coastal development worldwide over the last 20 years, there is undoubtedly a heightened vulnerability to severe windstorm events that can often be accompanied by flooding from heavy rain or storm surge,” Mr. Heinze added. “No matter how active a hurricane season is expected to be, businesses are wise to prepare long before any storm appears on the radar screen and pinpoint where their properties might be exposed to wind weather events.”
For the 2009 hurricane season, forecasters at Colorado State University are currently predicting 12 named storms, five hurricanes with two of them likely to be Category 3 hurricanes. Hurricane Ike was the most destructive storm of the 2008 season, making landfall in the US near Galveston, Texas at Category 2 with a storm surge of approximately 18 ft., typically associated with Category 4 or 5 hurricanes. Hurricane Ike resulted in approximately $24 billion in damages to homes and businesses.
“In areas prone to hurricanes and other windstorm events, many businesses have learned some hard lessons on how a natural disaster can impact their facilities and then, in turn, their operations,” said Ronald Hunstein, XL GAPS Vice President and a windstorm specialist. “Fortunately, these lessons have resulted in a clearer understanding of structures’ vulnerability to natural disasters and effective strategies that can help minimize property damage, even in the face of nature’s harshest forces.”
Available as a stand-alone service or as part of an XL Insurance’s general property loss prevention survey for property insurance clients, XL GAPS’ windstorm specialists analyze a commercial property’s risks to windstorm damage. Based on client needs, XL GAPS offers a variety of levels of analysis from a brief analysis of exposure and deficiencies to a highly-specialized survey that outlines recommended improvements, site loss expectancies and detailed analysis of construction, occupancy and business interruption information. XL GAPS’ clients receive access to their final windstorm analysis report via MyAnalysis – XL GAPS’ secure, state-of-the-art online reporting tool.
“Significant property building damage during a severe windstorm can result from failure of the roofing system, windows and doors, or the building structure itself,” said Mr. Hunstein. “Our specialists have an advanced understanding on the hazard of storm surge wind inundation. In most cases, our client exposures to storm surge were previously unrealized prior to our field surveys. XL GAPS’ wind analysis services help property owners assess potential exposures and outline corrective actions to lessen the impact of a natural catastrophe event. This benefits not only the property owner, but the insurance company and broker as well. XL GAPS’ understands how the current economic conditions are affecting windstorm capacity in the market and our Windstorm Assessment Product has a direct and positive impact on insurance buying decisions, and aggregate exposure.”
XL GAPS provides property loss prevention consulting individually tailored solutions to protect and enhance property, production, and profit. XL GAPS, with approximately 150 engineers and consultants in 18 countries, brings clients occupancy specific experience as well as deep knowledge of specific hazards across industries. More information about XL GAPS is available at www.xlgaps.com.
XL GAPS is part of the XL Insurance group of companies. ”XL Insurance" is the global brand used by member insurers of the XL Capital Ltd group of companies. More information about XL Insurance is available at www.xlinsurance.com. Through its operating subsidiaries, XL Capital Group is a leading provider of global insurance and reinsurance coverages and services to industrial, commercial and professional service firms, insurance companies, and other enterprises on a worldwide basis.