The Polar Vortex

An interview excerpt with Joe Rothwell, CEO

Interviewer: What things could happen to my property during a cold storm like the Polar Vortex?

Joe: That’s a phenomenon that occurred over the North Pole. When it occurred it opened up where the cold air circulates around the pole and pushed it down. In the past it pushed a lot of cold air all the way down into Georgia and Alabama and the temperatures were way colder than normal because of the cold air that was pushed down. A lot of times buildings just aren’t constructed with the insulation around the pipes and stuff to prevent them from freezing. So, when they freeze and then the weather warms up causing the pipes to thaw, the pipes break and you get a lot of bad water damage and stuff like that. That was a catastrophic event. I don’t know the dollar amount of damage versus Super Storm Sandy, Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Ike, but it was more widespread because it basically occurred from the northern part of the country to the southern part, and from Missouri all the way to the East Coast. We had losses everywhere in that, so it was a much larger geographic event than the hurricane would be. It was a big deal.