Five-Tips to Prepare For Hurricane Season

There are areas of the country that are susceptible to hurricanes and the damage they cause. The predictions for the Atlantic Hurricane Season for 2007 recommend everyone be prepared for a more active and intense season than usual. It’s a good idea to follow the scouts motto and always be prepared if you need to be ready for hurricane season follow these 5-tips!

point Tip #1 Review your homeowner insurance policy:

  • It’s a good idea to talk with your insurance agent or company and make sure you have enough insurance to rebuild the house and structures and also replace personal property. Be sure to inform the insurance company if there have been any major alterations or improvements made to the house or property.
  • Read your Policy Declaration Page and figure out how much coverage there is “Additional Living Expenses.” When a house is destroyed by a covered loss, such as a Hurricane, the additional living expenses would cover added costs, including hotel rooms, and eating during the time the house is being repaired.
  • Many standard homeowner policies provide additional living expenses coverage for 20 percent of the amount of insurance for the house and is often limited to a specified time period. In most cases additional coverage is offered for an extra premium.

point Tip #2 Check to be sure you have the correct insurance policies:

  • When you speak with the insurance agent or company be sure to ask about flood insurance. Many victims of Hurricane Katrina suffered flood losses which are not covered under the standard homeowner policy. Much of the losses suffered in Katrina were flood losses, and many insured’s were unable to prove their home had been destroyed by the hurricane and not the flooding.
  • Flood Insurance is available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). These policies should be available for purchase through the same agent or company providing home or renters insurance policies. Be sure to read the Flood Insurance Blog for more information about Flood Insurance.
  • Ask the agent or company about guaranteed or extended replacement policy for the structure of the house. These policies offer extra insurance coverage over the cost of rebuilding the house. A guaranteed replacement cost policy pays to rebuild the house regardless of actual cost.
  • Make sure there is replacement cost for personal property. Personal property is typically insured one of two ways. The actual cash value, which will replace personal property deducting for depreciation; or replacement cost coverage, which replaces the property in today’s dollars without a deduction for depreciation. Generally personal property replacement cost coverage will cost about 10 percent more, but offers more complete coverage.

point Tip #3 Update your Household Inventory

  • If you have never made a Household Inventory, it’s never too late.
  • If you do keep a household inventory be sure to keep it up-to-date.
  • In the event of a total loss you want to be able to state and prove all of the personal property lost.
  • Keeping a household inventory makes it possible to purchase the correct amount of insurance needed to replace possessions.
  • Household inventory‘s, speed the claims process and substantiate losses for income tax purposes.

point Tip #4 Have an Evacuation and Emergency Contact Plan.

  • Families should plan ahead and practice their emergency evacuation and make sure everyone knows what to do. When there is an emergency there may only be moments to gather the family, important papers, and leave the house–possibly for the last time. Be sure to read Evacuation Plan: When the Order is Urgent!
  • It’s not important what disaster looms knowing what to do and how to be ready is most important. Be sure everyone in the family knows who the emergency contact person is. Be sure to choose someone who lives very far away as your ultimate emergency contact. If you contact person is affected by the same disaster, then they may not be able to help your family.

point Tip #5 Hurricane-Proof the House

  • It’s advised to install storm shutters to protect the windows of the house. Or use plywood panels and nail them to the window frames when a storm warning has been issued.
  • Be sure the house has exterior doors with at least three hinges and a deadbolt lock at least one inch long. Any glass doors need to be made of tempered glass and also covered with shutters or plywood.
  • Replace any old garage doors and tracks with doors approved for both wind pressure and impact protection, since garage doors are highly susceptible to wind damage.

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