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The college basketball tournament is upon us. That means you’re probably already deep into your brackets, researching teams, and choosing the ones you think will win. Not an easy thing to do, since a full 68 of the college’s top basketball teams go head-to-head each year, fighting for the right to go to the championship and earn that coveted gold-plated trophy. In fact, the odds of filling out the perfect bracket are an astounding 1 in 9.2 quintillion. (Yes, that’s a real number.)

How much is 9.2 quintillion?

  • Nine with 18 zeros, if you round it
  • One billion, 9.2 billion times
  • 500,000 times more than our $17 trillion national debt
  • So big, you’d have a better chance of hitting four hole-in-ones in a single round of golf

Source: "What are the odds of a perfect NCAA tournament bracket?”, USA Today, March 19, 2013

Think the odds of beating Mother Nature are just as big?

Think again. Some people believe that the odds of their house being damaged from things like hail, lightning, wildfire, and freezing temperatures are just as big as the odds of picking the perfect bracket. Not so – in fact, the chances of needing to file a claim for your home may be greater as you might think, simply because we are experiencing more natural disasters these days.

Here are 5 reasons not to bet against Mother Nature (and to make sure you are fully protected with insurance coverage):

  1. Wildfires:

    Large wildfires in the U.S. burn more than twice the area they did in 1970 and the average wildfire season is 78 days longer.

  2. Hurricanes:

    The intensity, frequency and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as frequency of the strongest hurricanes, have all increased since the early 1980s.

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  3. Flooding:

    More than 90 coastal communities in the U.S. battle chronic flooding, prompting people to move away. In less than 20 years, that number is expected to reach 170 communities.

  4. Tornadoes:

    Researchers estimate that the number of tornado outbreaks (large scale weather events lasting 1-3 days) have doubled over the last half-century.

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  5. Snow storms and extreme cold:

    The number of extreme snow storms in the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. has doubled in the last half of the 20th century compared to the first half.

What can you do to protect your home?

With a comprehensive homeowner’s insurance policy, you can feel confident that you’re protected if a hurricane, flood, wildfire, wind, hail, or snow storm causes damage to your home. Chubb can help you make sure you have the coverage you need, and can also work with you to prevent issues from happening in the first place, by suggesting things like:

  • Ensure that your home has proper drainage around it, so you’re less likely to experience water damage in heavy rains.
  • Insulate any pipes that are in outside walls of your home if you live in colder climates. Extra insulation can keep pipes from freezing and bursting, causing water damage.
  • If you’re expecting high or hurricane force winds, secure all of your windows, doors, and bring in any outdoor furniture, grills, or garden accessories.
  • Clearing debris away from your home and other buildings if you’re in an area that is susceptible to wildfires.
  • Put an emergency plan in place to make sure you, your family and staff are safe if Mother Nature gets out of control.

Wildfires and Climate Change
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

2Changes in Hurricanes: National Climate Assessment
U.S. Global Change Research Program

3Sea Level Rise Will Flood Hundreds of Cities in the Near Future
National Geographic, July 12, 2017

4Large-scale tornado outbreaks increasing in frequency, study finds
UChicago News, January 4, 2017

5Climate Change and Extreme Snow in the U.S.
National Centers for Environmental Information