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11:38 AM
Nathan Golia
Nathan Golia
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Home Sweet Snowy Home

The southern suburbs and exurbs of Buffalo, New York were socked by more than 30 inches of snow over the past few days.

The southern suburbs and exurbs of Buffalo, New York were socked by more than 30 inches of snow over the past few days.

Drivers on part of the New York State Thruway were stuck in their cars for hours due to the volume of accumulation and a jackknifed tractor-trailer.

Some of you may be looking at this and wonder "why would anyone live there?" But I have to say that honestly, I miss it. There's really no place like Western New York after a huge snowfall like that, especially before the holidays. Everyone comes out of the woodwork to help each other out, children and pets have a blast, and the nights are serene.

Plus, the snow melts after a couple days, and everything is back to normal. Personally, I'd rather that than a hurricane, where damage can linger for years!

In fact, here in New York, while the storm system was dropping snow on Western New York, we were treated to high winds and rain, snarling traffic just the same. And, as we all know, wind can do a decent amount of damage on its own.

In addition, it's a popular misconception that everyone from Buffalo to Syracuse is digging out from Halloween to Memorial Day. In reality, these bands are typically very concentrated. Any place I've ever lived in Buffalo or Rochester has about an inch of snow at this point. Sometimes you win the snow lottery, sometimes you don't.

On the insurance end, I wonder how many mobile claims were filed as a result of the massive traffic jam that I'm sure led to a number of minor fender-benders. We can't be too far from the first major catastrophe where mobile claims overwhelm servers. That will be a true victory for insurance technology.

Maybe mobile claims will be filed as people who abandoned their cars on the Thruway pick them up around the region. I can't imagine that tow trucks were able to prevent minor dings considering the density and the road conditions. But the times I've been towed I've always been impressed with how durable cars are and the skill with which drivers navigate the complex weight shifts, so hopefully there aren't many.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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