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Tim McCosh, CEO of Yokahu, considers how companies that are frequently affected by hurricanes could consider hurricane protection as a form of benefit for their employees, not simply a cost for their business

Hurricanes are one of the most significant external events that can impact a person in their life. The obvious results are things like damage to your home. But the reality, just like in the pandemic, there are still bills to pay, families to provide for, kids are likely out of school for a significant period. And if you have just lost your job along with many others in your community there is a lack of employment too.

Employers may traditionally offer benefits such as life and health insurance. Why? Because it looks after their employees and increases the chance that they will return to work after a period of sickness – if they get sick. With hurricanes, there is an inevitability – it’s a question of when not if one will happen. But until now there has been no way for employers to cater for this event.

A Benefit to Employers and Employees

When I co-founded Yokahu it was with a commitment to think differently about insurance, and to break down the barriers that have for too long prevented everyday people from accessing emergency funds in the wake of natural catastrophes. Our mission is to leave nothing off the table, and to consider all angles and options when it comes to closing the protection gap. 

Currently, Yokahu offers individuals up to US$10,000 cash straight away after a hurricane, based on transparent triggers and without the need to lodge a claim or deal with loss adjusters. 

We want everyday people to feel secure knowing that they and their families will have extra money to spend on immediate necessities when disaster strikes, and our solution provides much needed clarity and near instant access to support for those who need it most. 

Now comes the question of how we provide access to products for as many people as possible. Research carried out by Yokahu found that as well as providing for their families and finding safe accommodation, one of the biggest concerns for individuals after a hurricane is losing their job. 

This makes perfect sense if you think about it in regions where access to utilities may be disrupted, or if damage to a hotel, factory or office that the local population rely on for employment interrupts or closes the business for a period of time. 

A more resilient workforce creates a more resilient community and a more resilient business

Businesses in the path of hurricanes feel their impacts no matter whether they experience damage. The economic downturn that follows affects the whole economy. If people are no longer employed, they spend less and therefore businesses make less money. The longer this downturn lasts or the deeper the trough, the more these businesses suffer. 

Now imagine many households/individuals receive an instant injection of funds immediately after the storm. We believe most people will invest that in making their lives better given the circumstances. The rebuild starts immediately – and the dip in the economy is less severe and shorter. The impact on that business is lessened as the whole island recovers faster.

Many businesses already help with practical preparation tips in the event of a hurricane, but offering parametric hurricane insurance as part of their employee benefits scheme would not only benefit their workforce, but also form part of a more robust disaster recovery plan. It’s the kind of community minded thinking that benefits both employers and the workforce. 

Watch this space for more information!