The Atlantic hurricane season, running from June-November, has already caused almost $15 billion in damages this year.
A typical year would expect to see around a dozen named storms, six hurricanes, three qualifying as major hurricanes (category 3 and above).
The 2020 season looks more extreme. Experts predict greater than 24 named storms, involving at least 12 hurricanes, with half becoming major hurricanes.
True to those predictions, 17 named storms have formed as of September 8th. This is clearly a major concern for homeowners and businesses in coastal areas of the United States.
Here’s how your clients should prepare for hurricanes and major storms:
1- Plan Ahead.
To mitigate damage from falling debris, water and wind, plan ahead. Ensure every effort is made to protect your family and home from risk.
- Inspect your home to confirm it is in line with hurricane building codes.
- Reinforce windows, doors, and skylights with shatter-resistant glass and storm shutters, using plywood as last-minute protection.
- Create an emergency kit with solar chargers, a battery powered radio, flashlights, non-perishable food and water, and other essentials. Be sure to inspect this kit periodically and refresh when needed.
- Trim any large trees within 20 feet of a standing structure.
- Create an evacuation plan that is in line with community evacuation procedures.
- Store all important documents in a fixed, waterproof container.
- Take out cash and keep physical copies of identifying documents. If power goes out, electronic payment may not be an option.
2- Shelter in place, stay up to date on storms, and follow guidance from local leaders.
Follow the news as storms approach. Stay up to date on any official announcements or guidance from authorities and don’t venture out unless absolutely necessary. Flood and infrastructure damage such as downed power lines are hazardous.
If an evacuation order is given, comply immediately. Act quickly as shelters and evacuation routes get crowded. Be sure to bring copies of identifying documents and insurance information with you.
3- Take cautious next steps.
After a major storm, it may be some time before it is safe to return home.
Be cautious of risks created by damage. If you notice gas leaks or downed power lines, avoid the property until a utility company inspects it. Floods may also create a hazard, so tread carefully.
Document all damages with as much detail as possible.
Assess everything in light of your policy. Most general homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flood damage. It is possible to get a separate policy to cover this exposure. Be sure to note any items not covered in the policy such as pools, fences, or walkways.
Keep track of all of your expenses and do not make permanent repairs until you have spoken with your insurance provider.
Protect your clients from the economic fallout of major storms:
Risk Innovations provides specialized and comprehensive policy options to protect your clients from the risk of hurricane damage. Our wide array of options ensures your clients get the coverage they need.
Get more information on specific policies on our website and connect with us to learn more.