Forecasters are predicting a busy 2015 hurricane season and an uptick in activity with five to eight expected cyclones in the Central Pacific compared to the average four to five.
Make sure you have the insurance you need now rather than waiting for the next threat. Most insurance carriers issue “moratoriums” when a tropical storm is approaching landfall. A moratorium effectively blocks a carrier from writing new business. You don’t want to be caught with no coverage or too little coverage before a hurricane hits because by then it could already be too late to secure the insurance you need. Just remember, insurance isn’t something you purchase “just in time” but security you have “just in case.”
Lenders typically require hurricane coverage as a condition of obtaining a mortgage. Therefore, homeowners with mortgages typically have hurricane insurance, but should still ask themselves if they have the right coverages and limits. More at risk are homeowners who have paid off their mortgages and whose hurricane insurance may have lapsed or was never secured in the first place. Hawaii residents who rent can protect their personal possessions by purchasing a hurricane endorsement. Whether you own or rent, securing hurricane insurance is crucial in our island state where a direct hurricane hit is not a matter of “if” but “when.”
Take these steps now to prepare for the 2015 hurricane season:
Talk to your independent agent to review you insurance policy and coverage:
- Is your coverage up to date?
- Do you have coverage for additional living expenses?
- Do you have flood coverage?
- Do you have personal property insurance?
- Do you have comprehensive car coverage?
Seal and secure home openings, roofs and soffits:
- Create a plan for permanent window and door protection.
- Schedule a roof inspection.
- Inspect soffits to see if wood supports and vinyl/aluminum channels are fastened.
Assess your property and take inventory:
- Use a digital camera to take photos of your property and personal possessions.