For insurance companies the winter months present plenty of their own seasonal weather-related worries – but this winter may be even worse than usual.
That’s because the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is warning property owners, especially those in the Florida region, that hurricane season is not yet over. Typically the season peaks in September and October – but it has been known to continue until the end of November and this year is set to include one of those seasons.
With Invest 90l brewing in the tropics – with a realistic chance of making landfall – the Association warns that basic precautions should be made at least to protect belongings in advance of another storm.
“With this year being a fairly active hurricane season for the Southeast, PCI encourages Floridians to plan ahead and take time now to get prepared,” said Logan McFaddin, PCI Florida regional manager.
“While we still don’t know the path of storm, it’s never too early to be prepared for a system that could result in flooding and property damage for the Sunshine State.”
PCI urges residents and business owners to take precautionary measures to prevent damage to vulnerable property, and make sure they have emergency kits and plans ready in the event the weather disturbance in the tropics continues to develop. Coastal residents, meanwhile, should plan for the possibility of evacuation orders.
“Floridians should check whether they have flood insurance, as flood damage is not covered by the standard homeowners policy,” continued McFaddin. “Additional coverage is available for purchase through the National Insurance Program, and it is best to do it sooner rather than later, as there is typically a 30-day waiting period between the date of purchase and when flood coverage will go into effect.”
In addition, PCI has listed a number of precautionary tips for insurance agents to pass on to homeowners.
• Review your property insurance policy, especially the “declarations” page, and check whether your policy pays replacement costs, or actual cash value for a covered loss.
• Make an inventory of your household items, and photograph or videotape them for further documentation. Keep this information and your insurance policies in a safe place.
• Keep the name, address and claims-reporting telephone number of your insurer and agent in a safe and easily accessible place.
• Protect your property by covering all windows with plywood or shutters, moving vehicles into the garage when possible and placing grills and patio furniture indoors.
• Keep all receipts for any repairs so your insurance company can reimburse you.
• Check with your insurance adjuster for referrals to professional restoration, cleaning and salvage companies if additional assistance is needed.
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