How-To Protect Your Property From Hurricanes
For many homeowners, hurricanes are a real property risk. Data from Property Claim Services® (PCS®) shows that the cost of damage caused by hurricanes and tropical storms has increased during the 10-year period between 2007-2017. In that time, nearly 8 million claims related to hurricanes and tropical storms were filed, with the total estimated insured loss exceeding $100 billion. In 2017 alone, the damage costs related to hurricanes in the United States and its territories exceeded $60 billion, not including National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy claims.
“The damage that these powerful storms produce is a reminder of how we all must do everything we can to protect what’s most important to us,” says Ken Enscoe, Senior Claims Director for Nationwide’s Catastrophe Operations. “It’s crucial for policyholders to know about their insurance coverage before a storm hits. “Advance planning is key to reducing the risk and mitigating the loss hurricanes can create.”
So how can you ready your home for hurricanes? According to Nationwide, policyholders can take the following steps in preparation for hurricane season or when a storm is approaching.
Examine your property. Before an event, examine your property to ensure there are no physical and/or liability hazards present.
Protect vulnerable areas of your home. Protect the four critical areas where wind and water can enter: roof, windows, doors and garage doors.
Protect valuables. Protect mementos, photos, etc., in waterproof containers and/or take the items with you if you evacuate (other household items can be replaced).
Review your policy and talk to your agent. Read and understand your insurance policy. Be sure you have adequate homeowner and auto coverage and that the deductibles you have selected are reasonable for your needs.If you have expensive or specialty items (i.e. jewelry, furs, silverware, cameras, collectibles, etc.) speak with your agent about broader coverage since these items have limited coverage under the terms of your homeowners’ policy. Additional premium will be required for this increase in coverage.
Take inventory of contents in your home. Inventory valuables and contents in the home with pictures or video. Note the approximate value of each item and the date of purchase. You can also send an inventory list to a family member outside your region for safekeeping.
Copy and secure important documents. Make sure important documents, such as an insurance policy or mortgage papers, are stored in a safe deposit or fire safe box.