Hurricane Earl Could Hit Atlantic Seaboard; I.I.I. Provides Preparation Tips
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NEW YORK, September 1, 2010 — While the path of Hurricane Earl remains uncertain, residents and businesses situated along the Atlantic seaboard from North Carolina to Maine should take steps now to protect lives and property, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I).
In 1821 a major hurricane made a direct hit on Manhattan, causing sea levels to rise as fast as 13 feet in a single hour near what is now Battery Park City. “"The East River met the Hudson River along present Canal Street. For three hours Manhattan was two islands,” said Nicholas K. Coch, a coastal geologist and professor, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Queens College. “The storm struck at low tide, which is what saved the city.”
- Amount of insurance. You should have enough insurance to rebuild your home or business and replace all of its contents. If you have made a major alternation or improvement to your home or business, get in touch with your agent or company representative to update your policy. Homeowners should find out how much coverage is available for Additional Living Expenses (ALE). These expenses could include the cost of a temporary rental home or hotel room, restaurant, meals and any other expenses incurred in the event your home is uninhabitable while it is being repaired or rebuilt. Some policies provide coverage for 20 percent of the amount of insurance you have on your house. Others may specify a time period. Additional coverage is generally available for an additional cost.
- Type of insurance. Ninety percent of all natural disasters involve some form of flooding. Flood damage is not covered by standard home insurance policies, but is available from the National Flood Insurance Program and from some private insurance companies. Excess flood insurance is also available from someprivate insurance companies if you need more coverage than the NFIP offers. For more information on flood insurance, see FloodSmart.gov but keep in mind that there is a 30-day waiting period between the time an application is accepted and a flood policy goes into effect. The I.I.I. produced a video on what is and what is not covered under flood and homeowners insurance policies when it comes to water damage.
- Purchase the right amount of insurance.
- Speed up the claims process by substantiating losses.
- Provide documentation for tax purposes or disaster assistance.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT INSURANCE: www.iii.org
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