Palomar has become a sponsor of Team Rubicon, an innovative NGO that trains and deploys professional staff and volunteers to assist communities in the immediate aftermath of human and environmental crises, such as natural disasters. Through our partnership with Team Rubicon, Palomar is launching Palomar Protects – an innovative program whereby we devote a percentage of premiums for our catastrophe policies to Team Rubicon’s recovery operations. We can think of no better way to re-invest in Palomar communities. I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to Team Rubicon’s invaluable work and explain why this partnership is a natural fit for Palomar.
Our roots are in disaster insurance. The company’s first product protected consumers from earthquake damage and we have since expanded into flood and other climate-related risks. Our experience with disasters has helped shape our business philosophy and our approach to corporate citizenship. We see first-hand the devastation wrought by catastrophes, and we are proud to help our customers rebuild and resume their lives.
Insurers like Palomar are only one link in the chain of resilience which helps communities repair and recover after a crisis. We recognize the need to coordinate our activities with other links of the chain such as government, society, and NGOs such as Team Rubicon.
Society – Mitigation
Palomar believes that every company has a responsibility to contribute to a more sustainable future. Accordingly, we will engage a third-party review of the company’s climate footprint in 2022 and create a plan for carbon neutrality by a fixed date. Together we can help ensure that climate-related disasters like flood, fire and wind events are less frequent and far less damaging to American communities.
We also believe that climate and disaster considerations should inform and guide land use and zoning decisions by government agencies.
Homeowners – Preparation
Palomar encourages all Americans to take steps to protect their properties from natural disasters. We are proud to offer incentives to our customers for improvements and modifications to their property so that flood and wind events are less costly in both human and financial terms. Governments provide additional incentives and funds important programs that homeowners can draw on to mitigate risks to their properties.
NGOs – Immediate Recovery
In the immediate aftermath of an event, insurers engage with customers to begin the process of recovery. Governments may ask for a federal disaster declaration, triggering the public sector to allocate and disburse recovery funds to an affected community. But communities need relief immediately. NGOs and aid groups fill this breach and help clear debris, restore vital services and help displaced persons find food and shelter.
Insurers – Repair and Recovery
Insurers are a vital link in the resilience chain, providing home and business owners with the resources they need to rebuild after a catastrophic event. Crucially, the risks assumed by the private sector are costs that are NOT transferred to public funding sources. Uninsured and underinsured losses, by contrast, are ultimately borne by taxpayers or go unfulfilled.
Government – Sustainable Development/Recovery
Before an event occurs, it is crucial that municipal officials understand the risks of climate-aggravated disaster and make responsible development choices, avoiding flood plains and areas at high risk of wildfire, for example. After an event, FEMA, the Congress, and state governments can make funds available to affected communities and individuals, but this process takes time – the one quantity that affected communities can ill afford. Still, the work of FEMA and state governments is critical to the restoration of public services and major reconstruction projects.
Visualizing community resilience in this way yields insights about our current and future challenges. We must consider the relationship between the links of the chain and identify areas of concern which we must work collectively to address. For example, uninsured losses are transferred to society – meaning that we all have an interest in insuring the adoption of competitive, affordable insurance solutions. Homeowners and the companies who insure them depend in turn on governments to make wise choices in development, avoiding areas at higher risk of disaster. And homeowners need immediate help in the first days following an event, before claims can be resolved and governments kick into action. The NGO community, led by Team Rubicon, is thus a vital link in the chain of resilience, and we are proud to sponsor their efforts.
Team Rubicon and Palomar Protects
Team Rubicon is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that utilizes the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Founded in 2010, Team Rubicon has deployed across the United States and around the world to provide immediate relief to those impacted by disasters and humanitarian crises.
Palomar’s partnership helps Team Rubicon train and deploy volunteers who travel to communities hit hard by disaster. These ‘greyshirts’ are drawn from all walks of life, including from the workforces of National Partners like Palomar. They clear and manage debris, repair, and rebuild properties that have been damaged, and assist other responders to ensure services and aid reach people as quickly as possible.
Through ‘Palomar Protects’ we will contribute a fixed % of premium from our flood and earthquake products to Team Rubicon. We believe this approach serves two objectives. First, we ensure that as our business grows, so does our commitment to the communities we serve. Second, by branding our efforts and communicating broadly with all elements of the insurance value chain we believe we can help raise awareness of the vital work of Team Rubicon.
We hope you will join us in supporting Team Rubicon and making a commitment to building stronger, more resilient American communities.