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Zurich demonstrates commitment to building to a more resilient standard

July 11, 2019

Risk engineers collaborate with other insurance professionals at IBHS hurricane symposium.

IBHS FirenadoRisk engineers, loss control specialists, underwriters and insurance customers gathered recently with the goal of identifying best practices for building resilience in the wake of the devastating hurricanes of the past two years.

About 50 people in all attended the hurricane symposium, which was hosted by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) at their research center in Richburg, South Carolina. The one-day educational event looked at “the damage and business disruption from the hurricanes of 2017 and 2018, and the need to break the cycle of disruption,” according to IBHS. It featured lectures, panel discussions and wind and fire demonstrations.


Mike Widdekind, AVP and Risk Engineering Technical Director, was joined by a representative from Aon Risk Solutions on a panel about how insurance companies and brokers work with policyholders to increase resiliency before the need for recovery arises.

The symposium took the discussion beyond the conference room to perform demonstrations such as a contained firenado, the swirling tower of flames that can occur naturally during wildfires, a wind demonstration on a commercial roll-up door and more.


“Anytime we can get like-minded individuals in one room, there is potential for progress, and that is exactly the opportunity this symposium provided,” said Jim Breitkreitz, VP. Property Services for Zurich Risk Engineering. “Resilience is an investment that pays back five to one, and those attending the symposium see the value in improving building standards and reap the rewards of those investments.”

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