Some areas of the country are prone to hurricanes, with damaging winds and flooding from storm surges. Proper hurricane preparedness can help to limit damage keep families and neighbors safe. With these tips, you can limit the damage to persons and property and maximize the protection from your insurance coverage.
Review Your Home Insurance Policy
Read your insurance policy to ensure that your coverage has kept up with the rising value of your home. Also see that the “contents” coverage is sufficient to cover any new furniture, appliances or electronics that you may have recently purchased. Because hurricane’s can cause winds up to 120 mph or more, many homes sustain considerable wind damage. Make sure your policy covers this type of damage.
Get Flood Insurance
Home insurance policies do not cover damage from storm surge flooding. Flood insurance is offered by the National Flood Insurance Program and handled by many insurance agencies. However, flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period before it goes into effect. Plan to get flood insurance coverage well before the hurricane season begins.
Review Your Auto Insurance
Look over your auto insurance policy to ensure that you have “comprehensive” insurance that will help pay for damage to your vehicle from the hurricane. This is often called coverage for “damage other than collision.” Most policies only cover “liability” claims that cover damage to other people’s property or personal injuries. Additional coverage
Create A Home Inventory List
Having a list of your home’s contents can be helpful if you must make an insurance claim. Many people choose to take photos or a video of their home’s contents to have a visual record of the items that may need to be replaced.
Prepare Your Property In Advance
You can take a number of precautions to prevent excessive damage to your property from hurricane winds, rain and storm surge:
· Install hurricane panels for doors, windows and skylights. You can provide basic protection with plywood panels or invest in hurricane-roof metal or plastic panels. Roll-down panels are a popular choice for making window protection easy. However, this option can be expensive.
· Bring outdoor furniture and other yard items indoors. Place additional ties on boats and trailers. Put cars and other vehicles into garages and tie the garage door to the bumper to prevent collapse.
· Trim trees to remove dead wood and hazardous branches.
· Bring pets and livestock into shelters or transport them to other facilities where they will be safe.
· When evacuating your home, bring valuable items and important documents with you.
Plan For Your Personal Safety
Have a safety plan for your family to minimize confusion and wasted time when preparing for an oncoming hurricane:
· Know the evacuation route that authorities have planned for your area.
· Track the hurricane’s path from news sources and develop a travel route to safer, inland areas out of its path.
· Research the locations of nearby community shelters.
· Stock up on canned goods, bottled water, batteries, additional medication and other items you may need if the electricity is out for a period after the storm.
· Fill up vehicles with gas to evacuate the area, if needed, and to have available if gas supplies to local stations are interrupted after the storm.