As all residents of North and South Carolina know, we are sometimes subject to the fancies of Mother Nature. Hurricane Dorian lashed our coast over the weekend, but we are far from done with Hurricane Season. It is a very good time to take stock, review the things that matter, and adjust if necessary. I would like to offer some thoughts that might ease your worry when the next storm approaches. Our goal is that our customers “know what they have, and have what they need”.
Below are some points/suggestions to consider:
- Read your policy. I know, I know. BORING!! But reading your policy,
whether homeowners, auto, health, or life insurance, will make you better prepared by knowing what the policy covers….and doesn’t.
- Do an inventory of contents in your home. Know what you have. The
Smart Phone is a wonderful tool. Walk through your home and video your “stuff”, also providing commentary on cost, etc. This is invaluable during a claim of any kind.
- Be proactive. In the days before a hurricane, Insurance Carriers will declare Moratoriums. This not only prevents agents from writing new policies, but also changing coverages, adding things to your policy that might be needed. Also, smaller carriers usually do a blanket moratorium, meaning the whole state. Larger ones like Nationwide will usually segment to the affected areas/counties. The point here is not to wait until the storm is in Charleston to make changes. Those changes will likely not be in effect until the moratorium is lifted. Reviewing with your agent once per year is a terrific way to eliminate the worry and angst that comes with every named storm.
- Be Proactive (part 2). One of the things that IS NOT covered on a
homeowners policy is “wear and tear”. Last year, two days of rain from Flo produced a number of water claims as one might guess. It also revealed areas where long-existing damage such as mold inside, and roof issues from 30 year old roofs. This can limit or even cause denial of a claim.
- Weather isn’t limited to hurricanes but any weather event. 2010-2013 saw more Hail/Wind damage to NC than Hurricane damage. It is common to believe that Wind only happens on the coast.
- Call for a Flood Insurance Quote. You may not be in a Flood Plain that
requires this, but maps are constantly changing. The quote is free, and can give you more protection. You may not need it, but it will give you peace of mind.
- Make a Plan. Last year, Florence was a huge storm that stayed for days, quite uninvited. Many crawl spaces flooded. Here is a great link for reference: https://www.jeswork.com/crawlspace-repair/hurricane-preparedness/
Hurricanes and Weather are a constant topic this time of year. I leave you with a suggestion on an idea to handle them. One top executive of an insurance company suggested that Universal Studios, Disney, Sea World, Busch Gardens and all of Key West, should band together and “build several mountains on the Northwest Coast of Africa”, theorizing that this would knock down the thunderstorms that rocket westward and become named storms. It’s interesting! Won’t happen and it won’t work. But it was perhaps the most interesting take I’ve heard.
-Chuck Norton, Norton Insurance Services