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New Earthquake Insurance Program Aims To Support Families And Communities
Kate Stillwell, founder and CEO of Jumpstart, is by background a civil engineer who has spent much of her career figuring out how to reduce damage and injury resulting from earthquakes. Along the way, she observed that communities that lack a genuine sense of community are more vulnerable to a slow or missing recovery than those that do.
She has created a new insurance program, available only in California, that triggers a $10,000 payout whenever an earthquake of a minimum impact is recorded. This puts money in the hands of the insured more quickly and enables them to start the recovery process more quickly.
Below, she share tips for being personally resilient.
Interview with Kate Stillwell, the Founder and CEO of Jumpstart.
The following is the pre-interview with Kate Stillwell. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.
Tip 1: Neighbors: Our number one tip to get prepared for a disaster is to meet your neighbors. You never know who you’ll need to rely on – or who might need your help. Disasters are fundamentally a human experience – a story. Make it a point to personally get to know members of your neighborhood – because each neighbor might have different resources. One might have backup communications, someone else might provide childcare, yet another a power generator, water storage, etc. The more community connections you have, the more you’ll be able to share and share alike and make your neighborhood story will be a rebound story.
Tip 2: Cushions: A disaster can strike at any time, and you can’t plan for every last detail. You can expect the unexpected by giving yourself options. Specifically, prepare yourself “cushions” – or resources that can be used to solve a variety of problems, like backup power or money. There are many statistics showing that a majority of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, and many have $0 in savings. A financial cushion can make the difference between being able to rebuild your life or start from scratch. Another important cushion is our social connections to friends and family who can provide support in times of disaster.
Tip 3: Resilience = People. Building resilience is a complicated puzzle that requires many resources– but the single-most critical resource is people. If a disaster causes large masses of people to move away, the community or region can experience a permanent setback. When people move away, fewer people are around to help rebuild; employees don’t return to jobs; local businesses lose both staff and customers; and less post-disaster money is being plowed back into the economy. Conversely, when residents stay, it creates an upward spiral of recovery– a resilience story. This means all resilience initiatives, whether private like insurance or public like building codes, should have a single, overriding objective: what will it take for people to stay.
More about Jumpstart:
Jumpstart is a new type of natural disaster insurance. The company is a surplus lines insurance broker with a mission to help you build financial resilience to natural disasters. Jumpstart is the first to provide parametric earthquake insurance for renters and homeowners in the U.S., in partnership with leading financial institutions, where payments are linked to measurable events, such as the shaking intensity of an earthquake.
Kate Stillwell. Photo Credit: Jumpstart
Kate Stillwell’s bio:
Kate Stillwell is the founder and CEO of Jumpstart, a parametric-insurance startup focused on earthquake insurance. Over the last decade, Kate has served as one of the most prominent earthquake risk consultants in the San Francisco/Bay Area. Prior, she was actively involved in reducing the physical risk of earthquake damage via structural engineering roles with GEM Foundation, EQECAT Inc., Holmes Group and Degenkolb Engineers.
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