FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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NEW YORK, October 4, 2016 — Hurricane Matthew has already made landfall in Haiti as a category 4 storm and is expected to continue its path across the Caribbean before heading toward Florida and up the East Coast. The millions of people who remain in the storm’s path should prepare now, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
The I.I.I. recommends taking the following six steps:
- Practice your evaluation plan. Knowing where to go, and what to bring if you must leave your home, can make the evacuation process easier and safer. This is especially important if you have children, pets, elderly relatives or anyone with special needs. The I.I.I.’s Know Your Plan app includes preparation checklists and incorporates a geo-targeted emergency alert feed that provides up-to-the-minute information about local evacuation routes and other details about the disaster.
- Prepare for flooding. Find out if your county is offering sandbags so that you can protect your property. Standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage but coverage is available from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and from some private insurers.
Move your car to higher ground, if possible. Flood damage to vehicles is covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy.
And stay safe: Avoid walking or driving through flood waters; just six inches of moving water can knock you down and two feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Hurricane-proof your house. While time permits, consider installing shutters or plywood to protect doors and windows against high winds and flying debris. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety provides tips to make your home more resilient to disasters.
- Know your hurricane deductible. Most homeowners policies carry a special deductible that applies when the cause of damage is a hurricane. The exact dollar amount of this deductible is spelled out on your policy’s declarations page. It’s important to understand how this will affect your claim.
- Keep your insurer’s claims phone number handy
If you experience damage from the storm, contact your insurance professional as soon as possible. Make sure contact information for your insurance professional or company is easily accessible in the event you need to file a claim. Also make sure to notify your insurer how to reach you in case you do need to evacuate.
- Update your home inventory. An up-to-date home inventory can speed up the claims filing process and substantiate losses for income tax purposes. It’s not too late to document your personal possessions. Be sure to take photographs, keep receipts and note the make and model of your most valuable items. The I.I.I.’s free home inventory app can help—find it at: www.KnowYourStuff.org.
Remember, by preparing for Matthew now, you can increase your chance of being a survivor, not a victim, of the storm.
Facts and Statistics:
The I.I.I. has a full library of educational videos on its YouTube Channel. Information about I.I.I. mobile apps can be found here.
THE I.I.I. IS A NONPROFIT, COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.
Insurance Information Institute, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038; (212) 346-5500; www.iii.org