Hurricane Season Approaching ─ Are You Ready?

Hurricane causes severe damage to homes

National Hurricane Preparedness Week – May 15-21, 2016

Homeowners should consider doing what they can to protect their home and property from hurricane season, which may ease some stress if and when that storm hits.

National Hurricane Preparedness Week occurs May 15-21, 2016. Nationwide urges policyholders to review their insurance policies and prepare an emergency kit, trim shrubs and trees, identify a safe place to take shelter when a storm hits.

Historically, hurricanes and tropical storms have caused devastating damage. According to Property Claim Services® (PCS®), a Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) business, from 2005-2015 the total number of property claims was 8 million, and the total estimated insured loss was $99 billion.

“It’s crucial for policyholders to know about their insurance coverage before a storm hits,” said Ken Enscoe, Nationwide’s senior director of catastrophe claims operations. “Advance planning is key to surviving the aftermath of a hurricane.”

Policyholders can take the following steps now to help prepare for a hurricane event:

  • Before an event, examine your property to ensure there are no physical and/or liability hazards present.
  • Protect the four critical areas where wind can enter: roof, windows, doors and garage doors. Either you or a building contractor can build and install temporary protection, such as approved wind shutters or plywood on windows and coverings for patio and entry doors, strengthen and stiffen garage doors, and install heavy-duty door hardware.  For more information visit, the Insurance Institute for Better Homes & Safety website.
  • Turn off power and water.
  • Move anything in your yard that can become flying debris inside your house or garage.
  • Protect mementos in waterproof containers and/or take the items with you if you evacuate. (Other household items can be replaced.)
  • Read and understand your insurance policy.
    • Be sure you have adequate homeowner and auto coverage and that the deductibles you have selected are reasonable for your needs.
  • Inventory valuables and contents in the home with pictures or video. Note the approximate value of each item and the date of purchase. You can also send an inventory to a family member outside your region for safekeeping.
  • Make sure important documents, such as an insurance policy or mortgage papers, are stored in a safe deposit or fire safe box.
  • Speak with your agent in detail about an appropriate deductible level. Generally speaking, the higher the deductible, the lower your insurance premium.
  • If you have expensive or specialty items (i.e. jewelry, furs, silverware, cameras, collectibles, etc.) speak with your agent about broader coverage, since these items have limited coverage under the terms of your homeowners policy. Additional premium will be required for this increase in coverage.

These tips are provided by Nationwide.com.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.

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