Atlantic Hurricane Season will be here June 1, and forecasters are predicting 13 named tropical storms, of which they expect five to reach hurricane status. Brightway Insurance, one of the country’s largest Personal Lines insurance agencies, sends annual policy round-up emails to its more than 260,000 customers listing all of the customer’s policies, insurance company name and claims reporting number.
“As a Florida-based company, we know all too well the devastation that a big storm can cause, and we want to do our part to help consumers prepare their homes and families and protect their financial assets,” said Brightway CEO and Co-Founder, Michael Miller.
In addition to its customer outreach, Brightway offers these tips to everyone living along the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico.
- Print and store important insurance information and documents in a plastic zip bag, so you have it ready to go in the event you are asked to evacuate. In addition to your policy number, include the name of the insurance carrier, the telephone number to report claims and the website. For recommendations on preparing documents, see the Emergency Financial Preparedness toolkit published by Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis.
- Look at your home to determine risks and take action now to mitigate those risks, such as removing dead tree limbs, ensuring drainage ditches are clear and checking the roof for loose shingles.
- Develop an evacuation plan for your family and build a disaster supply kit now that will enable you to live without power or water for several days. Basics include a first aid kit, potable water, non-perishable food, non-electric can opener, flashlights and batteries. A portable generator may be a good investment, too, but be sure to read the instructions to avoid electric shock. If your town provides text or email alerts about weather events, sign up to receive real-time weather and traffic updates. Visit Ready.gov for additional recommendations on how to prepare for a hurricane.
- Standard Homeowners policies don’t cover flooding. Your Homeowners policy probably covers water damage from household mishaps. Think of things such as a burst pipe, sump or sewer backup or an overflowing bathtub. It doesn’t cover damage to your home caused by floods or mudslides.
Flood insurance is the only way to get coverage against a coastal storm surge, a river overflowing its banks, failure of a dam or levee or any other weather-related event. That coverage is provided by the National Flood Insurance Program.
NFIP’s website, FloodSmart.gov, can help you understand your flood risk and provides a wealth of information, including a mapping tool showing whether your property is in a high-risk area.