Finicky COVID-19 vaccines raise the stakes of power outages

Link: https://www.theverge.com/science/2021/2/16/22285394/covid-vaccine-power-outage-freezer?mc_cid=cd30d3af2c&mc_eid=983bcf5922

Excerpt:

Winter storms paralyzing the United States have left millions without power and sent health officials scrambling to protect freezers full of COVID-19 vaccines, which have to be kept at extremely low temperatures or risk going bad.

Rolling blackouts through Texas took out at least one set of freezers full of the Moderna vaccine; 5,000 doses were sent to a university, a jail, and a handful of hospitals before they expired. The Oregon Health Authority is moving vaccines to places with power, although the agency isn’t disclosing which storage sites have their systems down. As part of its storm preparations, Kentucky made sure places holding COVID-19 vaccines had contingency plans.

Author(s): Nicole Wetsman

Publication Date: 16 February 2021

Publication Site: the Verge

Did your pipes burst during Texas’ winter storm? Here’s what to expect from insurance

Link: https://news.yahoo.com/did-pipes-burst-during-texas-220107004.html

Excerpt:

Chris Pilcic, a public affairs specialist for State Farm, said to first keep calm. Then, turn your water supply off and let all the remaining water in your pipes drain out

Next step, look over your damage, both to your property and your personal belongings. And then call your insurance agent.

“The average frozen pipe claim we paid in Texas last year was $10,300,” Pilcic said on Wednesday.

What comes out of your pocket will depend on your coverage and deductible.

Author(s): Nichole Manna

Publication Date: 17 February 2021

Publication Site: Yahoo News

U.S. insurers brace for hefty claims from Texas storm once thaw sets in

Link: https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-weather-texas-insurance/u-s-insurers-brace-for-hefty-claims-from-texas-storm-once-thaw-sets-in-idUSL1N2KO3AX

Excerpt:

U.S. property insurers are bracing for claims for damage from collapsing roofs, bursting pipes and lost business as Texas takes stock of its losses from a winter storm that has crippled its electrical grid.

Insurers’ losses could stretch into billions of dollars, said Moody’s analyst Jasper Cooper.

Insurers in Texas, the second-largest property insurance market among U.S. states, are used to grappling with historic storms, such as Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

But this winter storm is unique because of its grip across the state. It crippled the electric grid and left hundreds of thousands of homes without power for four days.

Author(s): Suzanne Barlyn

Publication Date: 18 February 2021

Publication Site: Reuters

Texas storm may cost insurers record first-quarter losses – A.M. Best

Link: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-weather-texas-insurance-idUSKBN2AJ2IS

Excerpt:

 Insurers could suffer record first-quarter catastrophe losses after the historic Texas winter storm, which crippled the state’s electrical grid and caused extensive property damage including collapsed roofs and broken pipes, insurer credit rating agency A.M. Best said on Friday.

The storm occurred during a quarter that is typically the most benign for catastrophe losses, and could become the costliest winter weather event in Texas history, A.M. Best said in a report.

The Texas Department of Insurance plans to collect data from property insurers to assess costs stemming from the crippled electrical grid, roofing collapses, broken pipes and other problems, a spokesman said.

Author(s): Suzanne Barlyn

Publication Date: 19 February 2021

Publication Site: Reuters