By SEANNA ADCOX
RICHBURG, S.C. (AP) - The insurance industry hopes a 21,000-square-foot lab in rural South Carolina can help revolutionize the way homes are built and stem the cost of Mother Nature's disasters.
Officials at the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety say the wake of destruction left by hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters can be greatly reduced with construction choices that cost little extra upfront. They hope research persuades people to make those choices, ultimately saving lives and money.
The National Climatic Data Center says that in 2012, 11 disasters nationwide caused more than $110 billion total in damages and 377 deaths.
IBHS president Julie Rochman says the price tags are not sustainable, yet people continue to build and rebuild without the next disaster in mind.