In most cases, we are alerted to the possibility of an oncoming storm, and advanced preparation makes a tremendous difference during this type of disaster.
We have outlined how to prepare for a possible hurricane and get your life back up and running should damage occur.
ENSURE YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE IS ADEQUATE
We recommend reviewing your insurance policy to confirm you are adequately protected. Discuss the questions below with your insurance agent to get a better understanding of your coverage.
- Is my coverage up to date?
Make sure your insurance coverage reflects the current state of your home or building. If there have been changes or updates that could increase the value of your property, or if you have sustained recent property damage, be sure to speak with your agent to determine if you should increase your coverage amount.
- Do I have enough coverage to cover the replacement cost of my home or building?
There is a substantial difference between replacement costs and construction costs. Replacement costs tend to be higher as there are extra fees due to site accessibility, costs associated with demolition or debris removal, labor costs and premium prices for materials. Your agent should help you determine an accurate replacement cost for your home or building.
- Do I have flood coverage?
Basic commercial policies do not cover flood damage. In recent years, almost 25 percent of flood insurance claims came from areas that were not considered high risk for floods. Floods can occur during any season and in all 50 states. This means that even if you do not live in a high-risk flood zone, you may want to consider purchasing flood coverage.
- Do I have any outdoor property that should be added to my policy?
Outdoor property like pools, fences, mailboxes, and entry gates require separate coverage within your policy. A hurricane most likely will cause damage to your outdoor items if the storm is sufficient.
PREPARE YOUR PROPERTY BEFORE THE STORM
In addition to making sure your insurance coverage is sufficient, there are other steps you can take to protect your property before a hurricane hits. You may be able to complete some of these projects yourself, while others may require the skill of a contractor or professional.
- Invest in hurricane shutters or 3/4" outdoor plywood boards for each window of your home.
- Install anchors and pre-drill holes on the plywood so you can put it up quickly in the event of a storm.
- Install head and foot bolts on doors for extra protection.
- Install hurricane roof straps or clips. These are designed to help hold your roof to the walls of your home.
- Assess your property for any diseased or damaged trees or limbs that could become wind hazards. Remove anything you identify as potentially hazardous.
- Create a record of what you own with details and photos of each item. In the case of severe property loss, this will simplify the process of sorting through damaged items should you need to file a claim.
- Put together an emergency supply kit with basic items like bottled water (one gallon per person); a three-day supply of non-perishable food (per person); a flashlight; batteries; first aid kit; and a cell phone with chargers and a backup battery. Ready.gov has a comprehensive list you can download here.