Hurricane Preparedness- Not Just Bottled Water and Extra Batteries
Every year as Hurricane Season approaches, the local news anchors tell viewers in detail how to be prepared should a hurricane come our way. These suggestions include having bottled water, non-perishable food, flash lights, essential medications, baby supplies and, of course, extra batteries.
Cravens Warren wants to give you some suggestions on how to prepare your Insurance program for hurricane season which runs from June 1st to November 30th. The following pointers are some ideas to consider but they do not encompass everything you should do. The best plan of action is for you to review your current insurance program with your agent to make sure you have the proper coverage with adequate limits.
- Did you know that Property policies normally do not cover items such as fences, awnings, signs, covered parking, antennas, and satellite dishes? These items must be scheduled. You may have limited coverage for some of these things, but will it be enough? Check with your agent to see if these items are covered and if so, do you have an adequate limit?
- Business Income and Extra Expense are extremely important coverages to include on your property policy, yet many insureds fail to do so. Of course there are limitations, but simply put - Business Income is coverage to cover lost profits and normal operating expenses after a covered loss. Extra Expense is coverage for additional expenses that occur after a covered loss. The goal for both coverages is to help make your business whole again. Your agent has tools to help you determine a proper limit. Please note for this coverage to respond, the covered peril must occur at your own premises. See if you can have it extended to include losses that occur due to off premises utilities such as power, water, and communications.
- Consider adding coverage or increasing limits on coverage for “backup of sewers and drains” . The excessive rains during hurricanes and tropical storms can cause these types of losses.
- Have you had any additions to your property that you have been meaning to tell your agent about but haven’t yet? Now is the time to get that additional coverage bound. Once a storm enters the Gulf of Mexico or is in striking distance, companies have a moratorium on binding coverage.
- Does your policy include Demolition Coverage and/or Ordinance of Law coverage? If yes, is the limit adequate? See if your insurance company can increase your limits. Insureds often underestimate how much it would cost them if they had to totally demolish their building should a loss make it necessary to do so. Also, when you then have to rebuild - it may cost more than the building’s current value since the building code may have changed since the building was originally erected. (Examples are changes in electric, plumbing and wind codes)
- Insure your property for Replacement Cost instead of Actual Cash Value.