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Weather Proves Costly In Many Ways

Yesterday, the popular water cooler topic around the Synergy Merchant Services office was the news of an attempted evacuation of New York City over the weekend. Due to the expectation of Hurricane Irene to the major city, the cause for alarm was high, prompting the first evacuation in the city’s history.

Many members of our staff questioned how a city the size of New York could possibly even be evacuated. Thankfully, Irene had been downsized to a tropical storm by the time it reached the state. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop flights from being canceled among many other travel delays in the big city, according to CNN reports.

Yesterday on, Francine Kopun wrote about the economic impact that natural disasters like Hurricane Irene have had in the past year. Evidently, damage, destruction and sometimes death are not the only results of hurricanes, tornadoes and tropical storms. Kopun writes that 2011 “has been the most expensive year for natural disasters in the history of the world.”

She reveals that customers are spending more on home insurance by buying bigger policies. With more possessions to insure and with natural disasters seemingly happening more frequently, Canadians have been forced to increase the number of claims that they have been making.

According to Leonard Sharman, who is the spokesman for The Co-operators, the cost of natural disasters has been multiplied by 20 since the 1970s. Says Sharman: “It’s becoming more and more clear to everybody that we’re seeing crazier weather than we have in the past. The one-in-100-year storms are occurring seemingly once every year.”

“What I saw on the news this past weekend was crazy,” mentioned one of our Synergy reps, “It’s truly incredible how much damage Hurricane Irene has caused. I’m glad the death toll is so low. I’m also glad it didn’t hit Toronto! But it does seem as if disastrous weather is becoming more and more prevalent these days.”

Kopun recalls some recent examples of “crazy”weather to further the point. She reminds us that “earthquakes shook New Zealand in February and June, and an exceptionally severe series of tornadoes struck the U.S. in April and May. In May, fire destroyed 40 per cent of Slave Lake in Alberta, triggering $700-million in claims.”

Not to mention, who can forget the disastrous events taking place in Haiti, Chile and Japan in recent months? Even in Toronto last week, severe thunder and lightning sent a bolt of concern throughout the city. And who could blame us? Kopun notes that since 2005, there has been $265 billion in losses worldwide due to natural disasters.


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