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Author: Elena Latini

Hurricane Isaias: Updates & Tips

A Message from Brian Junod – Director, Underwriting & Products

Effective Immediately: Binding Moratorium

As you are likely aware, Hurricane Isaias is expected to bring damaging winds and severe flooding to the east coast over the next three to four days.

As a result of the impending storm, your agency binding authority is being temporarily suspended for risks located in:

  • The entire states of Virginia, Delaware, and New Jersey
  • The following counties in eastern Maryland: Anne Arundel, Baltimore (including Baltimore City), Caroll, Cecil, Charles, Harford, Kent & Prince Georges.
  • The following counties in Central & Eastern Pennsylvania, comprising an area generally east of Centre County and State College, PA: Adams, Berks, Bradford, Bucks, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne, Wyoming & York

We ask that you immediately inform all of your agency personnel of this binding authority suspension. Suspension of your binding authority applies to both dwelling and homeowners forms, and includes all new business submissions, endorsement transactions, policy reinstatements, and changes in coverage, that would be effective August 4, 2020 through the lifting of the moratorium.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter. Our safest wishes to you and your staff.

Tips for Policyholders on How to Prepare Your Home for Hurrican Isaias

1) Be prepared—even if you’re not in the Hurricane’s exact path.
Assess your insurance coverage to see if you are covered for wind and flood-caused damage. Reach out to your insurance agent if needed.

2) Prep the outside of your home.
Cover up all windows and make sure all outside loose or lightweight objects are brought inside (ex: patio furniture, garbage cans) and any objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (ex: propane tanks) are secured and anchored as these types of items could become projectiles in high winds.

3) Make sure you have an emergency kit – and make it waterproof.
Your emergency kit should include important documents like birth certificates, vehicle registrations and insurance documents along with food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, first aid supplies, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and phone chargers. And make sure it is waterproof and tightly sealed.

4) Keep yourself informed and updated.
Check the news in your area every 30 minutes in order to keep yourself up to date on the current weather situation for your area and any emergency updates.

Summer Home Tips: How to Protect Your Home During Storm Season

Summer 2020 might be looking a little different with COVID-19, but the global pandemic has not stopped the summer weather and summer storms. With so much going on in our world it can be easy to forget about and ultimately be unprepared for the alarming and unpredictable summer storms.

Did you know? The Spring and Summer seasons have the most destructive storms and bring about the most damage to homes. Each year, thunderstorms alone cause almost $15 billion in property damage and Hailstorms cause approximately $1 billion of property damage. Spring and Summer thunderstorms have winds that can reach over 100 mph and result in severe roof and house siding damage. Flooding causes billions of dollars a year in damage to homes and sometimes results in total loss of residences.

Spring and Summer bring beautiful weather, weekends down the shore, backyard BBQs and more often than not, prepping your home for these intense and fast-moving storms isn’t the first thing on homeowner’s minds. Here are some easy tips that you should follow so you are prepared for the not-so-fun aspect of the warmer weather.

  1. If you weren’t able to get routine maintenance on your roof and the foundation at the start of the season, do so now! Cracks in the roof or cracks in the foundation are the number one cause of flooding damage.
  2. Take a survey of your property and make note of any trees or limbs that are too close to your home. Be sure to cut them down if safe to do so OR contact a local company to have them trim any unwanted branches. Powerful 100 mph thunderstorm winds can cause trees and branches to fall on your property and damage the siding, windows, or worst case your roof.
  3. Make a list of all the important and expensive possessions and move them off the floor in case of flooding. Invest in some waterproof bins and shelving to keep your possessions safe and stored off the ground.
  4. When a storm warning is issued, be sure to move all outside furniture, plants, etc. indoors before a summer storm hits. With strong wind and rain, your outdoor materials could move around and either get damaged or damage your home.
  5. Create and maintain an emergency kit. Follow this checklist to make sure you have the necessities in case of a storm emergency.
    • Flashlight(s) + extra batteries.
    • Battery-powered weather radio + extra batteries.
    • Non-perishable foods (canned goods and dry foods. Be sure to check expiration dates and replace as needed).
    • Multiple jugs of water.
    • First aid kit.
    • Fire extinguisher.
    • Warm clothes and blankets.
    • Paper documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, and other significant legal papers. Be sure to keep these either in a firebox or if you do not have one, any waterproof bag or bin.
  6. Most importantly – contact your insurance agent to ask about your policy. If you do not have flood insurance, talk to your agent and work with them to make sure your policy fits your location and any storms that could come your way.

Information Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

In Memory of Christina T. Webber

 In 1983 Christina Thometz Webber arrived at The Philadelphia Contributionship from the world of investment banking ostensibly to take on the role of product manager for a new offering, perpetual homeowners insurance. She very quickly took on a senior leadership role in the company serving as senior vice president. It was a time of change for The Philadelphia Contributionship as the company began offering condominium insurance, expanded into New Jersey and began its acquisition of Germantown Insurance Company. 

Focus on agents intensified but the Company also expanded into direct sales with the creation of the Franklin Agency. 

 Chris balanced home and family life taking great joy in her two sons, Edward and Bentley, brought to work on this chilly Saturday in 1988 as some employees gathered to watch the installation of the HVAC systems on the roof of the annex to 210 (208) S Fourth Street – building of this was done in conjunction with the Center for Judaic Studies. Architect George Batchelor worked to seamlessly integrate the building of the two sites. The Contributionship which had occupied 210 S. Fourth Street since the early 1980s found itself in need of more space as employees from Germantown Insurance Company (acquired in 1986) would be moving onsite. 

In 1990 Chris was elected president & COO of The Philadelphia Contributionship Insurance Company and in 1995 President & COO of Germantown Insurance Company. 

It was Chris who worked most closely with the home security business, then known as PC Security and later Vector Security serving as president and later chairman. During Chris’s long tenure with The Philadelphia Contributionship and its subsidiaries, Vector Security grew into the leader in its field that is today 

Upon Mickey Lloyd’s retirement in 1995 Chris served as Acting President of The Philadelphia Contributionship until the Board appointed her to the position of President & CEO in June 1996. She was appointed to the Board of Directors in 1999. 

Dedicated to the history of the company, Chris pushed The Philadelphia Contributionship in 2003 to create a digital archives site, an ambitious project that scanned the company’s early minutes (1752-1842), and extant surveys from 1752-1906 (approximately 14,000 entries), wishing she could take it even further. 

She oversaw the Company’s 250th anniversary celebration with a wonderful party for policyholders and guests with period craftsmen, music, dancing and food, an updated history of the company, and the commissioning of special wax engravings of Franklin as special gifts. 

The Company also sponsored that year’s Celebration! of Benjamin Franklin, Founder, honoring John Bogle, founder of Vanguard, and Fire Commissioner Harold Hairston in a tribute to firefighters following the aftermath of 9/11. 

Chris worked to build morale for employees, holding spontaneous hoagie days, hosting a company picnic at her home in the late 1990s with swimming and volleyball, instituted a take your child to work day and held impromptu contests such as the one to rename a new system and reimbursed tickets to the Franklin 300 show at the Constitution Center for employees. She had empathy for the less fortunate serving as a board member for Project H.O.M.E. and leading company efforts in rehabbing homes through Rebuilding Together a non-profit organization that the Company partnered with to help rehab and repair homes of low-income residents. 

A long-time cancer survivor Chris was driven to excel and determined to succeed in conquering this as she had so many other issues that she faced, but it also gave her the ability to be compassionate towards others in less fortunate situations. She retired from The Philadelphia Contributionship at the end of 2006 but remained on the Board of Directors of The Philadelphia Contributionship and as chairman of Vector. She died on February 8, 2020. 

As the first woman to hold the position of CEO of The Philadelphia Contributionship, an organization with which she was affiliated for more than half her life, her influence will be felt for years to come. 

4 Steps to Protect You & Your Home from Hurricanes

1) Be prepared—even if you’re not in the Hurricane’s exact path.

Assess your insurance coverage to see if you are covered for wind and flood-caused damage. Reach out to your insurance agent if needed.

 

2) Prep the outside of your home.

Cover up all windows and make sure all outside loose or lightweight objects are brought inside (ex: patio furniture, garbage cans) and any objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (ex: propane tanks) are secured and anchored as these types of items could become projectiles in high winds.

 

3) Make sure you have an emergency kit – and make it waterproof.

Your emergency kit should include important documents like birth certificates, vehicle registrations and insurance documents along with food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, first aid supplies, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and phone chargers. And make sure it is waterproof and tightly sealed.

 

4) Keep yourself informed and updated.

Check the news in your area every 30 minutes in order to keep yourself up to date on the current weather situation for your area and any emergency updates.