June 1 marked the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs a lengthy six months through November 30th. While the bigger storms don’t typically hit until later in the season, don’t wait until then to prep your community if you live in a hurricane zone. Over the next few weeks, we’ll provide helpful tips to keep your community and residents prepared during this season. We’re kicking the series off with the most important topic, ensuring that your home and belongings will be properly covered in the event of a hurricane. Here’s what you can do today for peace of mind.
1). Review Flood Insurance
Last week we shared insight into what you need to know about the very real dangers of flooding. Floods are the most common natural disaster, and typically are what cause the most damage with hurricanes. Now is the time to encourage residents to review their insurance plans. Have them check to ensure their policy includes a hurricane deductible and that they have a separate flood policy. Typically flood policies take 30 days to go into effect, so this is not the time to procrastinate.
2). Inland Residents Must Review Their Policies
Like we mentioned in the flood article, if it can rain in your area, it can flood. Many people who don’t live on the coast might be more relaxed about double checking their policy, but that’s a dangerous mistake. Inland communities in North Carolina experienced torrential flooding with Hurricane Florence, some seeing over 30 inches of rain. So even if you’re not living directly on the coast, if you live in a state bordering the Atlantic or Gulf, it just makes sense to review your current policy and consider adding a flood insurance as an extra precaution.
3). Renters Need to be Prepared, Too
According to the Insurance Information Institute, only 37% of renters purchase renter’s insurance. Compare that to homeowners, who 97% of which carry an insurance policy. This is likely a result of renters believing their belongings will be protected by their landlord’s policy, which is a risky assumption. Renter’s, especially those living in flood-prone areas, should absolutely have an insurance policy to protect their belongings. They must also make note to review their policy for flood coverage, as similar to many homeowner’s policies, it’s not always included.
4). Don’t Forget About Your Vehicles
Hurricane Sandy brought to light that damage not only occurs in homes and businesses, but also automobiles. Some 250,000 cars in 15 states were damaged after sitting for in deep flood waters for several days. To ensure a vehicle is properly covered, comprehensive coverage is recommended in addition to collision coverage. Comprehensive coverage handles damages that aren’t from vehicular accidents. These incidents include if a car is stolen, a tree falls on it, or it's emerged in flood waters.
To keep your community prepared for the worst, make sure you have an incident response plan in place. Download our free guide to get started on building your's today!