For immediate release
Florida Press Office: Mark Friedlander, 904-806-7813, firstname.lastname@example.org
ST. JOHNS, Fla., April 27, 2023—The start of what is forecast to be a “slightly below-average” Atlantic hurricane season is weeks away and the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I) is recommending homeowners, condo owners, renters and business owners prepare now.
“Any hurricane season will likely cause devastation as we witnessed with 2022’s Hurricane Ian having record-level claims and losses, despite only three named storms making landfall,” said Sean Kevelighan, CEO, Triple-I. “During Hurricane Preparedness Week, everyone who lives in a hurricane-prone community should take a few moments to ensure they have adequate financial protection for their property and possessions while also taking steps to make their home or business more resilient to the impacts of wind and water.”
Hurricane Ian made landfall on Sept. 28 in Florida as a Category 4 major hurricane and then again on Sept. 30 in South Carolina as a Category 1, while Hurricane Nicole struck Florida as a Category 1 on Nov.10. In addition, Hurricane Fiona struck Puerto Rico as a Category 1 on Sept. 18.
“History has proven states along the Gulf and East coasts have faced the prospect of catastrophic, hurricane-caused property damage. With more Americans living in harm’s way, it is critical for everyone residing in a hurricane-prone community to make preparedness a priority,” Kevelighan added.
Hurricane Preparedness Week, spearheaded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), starts on Sunday, April 30, and continues through Saturday, May 6. The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30.
The Triple-I’s four key hurricane preparedness tips for the 2023 season include:
Review Your Insurance Coverage. Make sure you have the right type – and amount – of property insurance. The Triple-I recommends you conduct an annual insurance review of your policy(ies) with your insurance professional.
“With home replacement costs escalating more than 55 percent since 2019 due to the higher costs of construction materials and labor, you should ask your insurance professional if you have the right amount of coverage to rebuild or repair your home, to replace its contents, and to cover temporary living expenses if your property is uninhabitable,” Kevelighan said. “You should also ask about flood insurance, which is an additional coverage to standard homeowners, condo and renters policies, as well as a small business insurance policy. Nearly 90 percent of natural disasters involve flooding.”
The best place to start the insurance review process is by reading the declarations page of your policy. It offers details on how much coverage you have, your deductibles, and how a claim will be paid.
Standard homeowners insurance covers the structure of your house for disasters such as hurricanes and windstorms, along with a host of other perils, such as fire. It is important to understand the elements that might affect your insurance payout after a hurricane and adjust your policies accordingly.
Protect Your Vehicles. Comprehensive auto, which is an optional coverage, protects your vehicle against theft and damage caused by an incident other than a collision, including fire, flood, vandalism, hail, falling rocks or trees, and other hazards. Nearly 80 percent of U.S. drivers opt to purchase comprehensive coverage.
Make Sure Your Possessions are Adequately Protected. Residents need to imagine the out-of-pocket cost of repurchasing their wind-damaged furniture, electronics, clothing, and other personal possessions after a hurricane. Whether you have homeowners insurance, condo insurance or renters insurance, your policy provides protection against loss or damage to personal property due to a hurricane.
Creating an inventory of your belongings and their value will make it easier to see if you are sufficiently insured for either the replacement cost or the actual cash value of the items situated at your residence. When you create a photo or video catalog of your home’s possessions, it expedites the insurance claims process if you sustain damage from a storm.
Make Your Property More Resilient. Invest in items that will harden your property against wind damage, such as roof tie-downs, a wind-rated garage door, and storm shutters. Triple-I also recommends you have your roof inspected annually by a licensed and bonded contractor to make sure it will withstand high winds and torrential rains.
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