TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Southeast continues to get hammered with violent weather, and now with the start of hurricane season the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is launching its 2017 Hurricane Guide to urge residents in coastal states to review their insurance policy and take time to get prepared before it’s too late.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) hurricane outlook is predicting a mild season with the development of 11 to 17 named storms, with five to nine reaching hurricane status and two to four becoming major hurricanes. But it is important to not let mild predictions create a false sense of security. As Hurricane Matthew demonstrated last year, it only takes one bad storm to cut a path of devastation and destruction through coastal communities.
“Severe weather can happen anytime, and insurers encourage you to use this quiet time to get prepared,” said Chris Hackett, PCI’s senior director of personal lines policy. “We encourage residents to not let their guard down and take the necessary steps to be financially ready if a storm were to hit.”
In addition to reviewing your financial documents and asking about additional coverage options, it’s also a good idea to conduct a home inventory. “Just by using your smartphone you can video what’s inside your home and store the video in your email or the cloud,” added Hackett. “If a storm does damage your home you won’t have to rely just on your memory when filing a claim.”
Residents and businesses should also beware of falling victim to a scheme in which unscrupulous third-party companies try to convince them to sign over their insurance benefits in order to proceed with repair work following a storm.
“If a contractor comes to your door unsolicited, we urge you to call your insurer before signing any documents to help avoid being taken advantage of during a vulnerable situation,” said Hackett.
Insurers are available to help consumers this hurricane season, and encourage them to ask insurance coverage questions of their insurer or agent before the sky turns dark and a storm is approaching.
PCI has a wide range of materials and infographics to help homeowners and businesses prepare for the 2017 hurricane season. Follow us on Twitter @PCIAA where we will continue to share important tips to help policyholders prepare.
2017 Hurricane Resources:
PCI Interactive Online Magazine: http://bit.ly/HurricanePrep2017
PCI 2017 Insurance Checklist: http://bit.ly/HurricaneChecklist17
2017 Hurricane Fact Sheet: http://bit.ly/HurricaneFacts17