PCI Provides Steps To Take Before And After Hurricanes
CHICAGO—With hurricane season officially beginning June 1st, the Property
Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is offering home and business
owners an important and useful list of steps to take immediately prior to and
following a hurricane.
PCI wants to help residents in hurricane-prone states
make preparations for the threat of devastating storms. It is easy to
underestimate the risk we face, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) is predicting a very active storm season with three to
seven major hurricanes, and we recommend that homeowners, businesses and public
policymakers take the necessary steps to ensure that everyone is prepared. The
following tips and brochures will help consumers reduce exposure to losses and
make certain that they have adequate insurance coverage to recover from the economic
damage after a catastrophic event.
1. Review your property insurance policy, especially the
“declarations” page, which summarizes the coverage you have purchased.
2. Talk with your agent/insurer to make sure you have
the right policies with adequate limits. Your agent or insurance company can
assist you in determining the type of policies you should have and the correct
limits of coverage.
3. Get flood insurance. Inland flooding can occur as far
as 500 miles from the site of a hurricane. Flooding is not covered in standard
homeowners insurance policies. However, it may be purchased through insurance agents
from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is administered by the
Federal Emergency Management Administration.
4. Make sure you know the amount of your deductible. The
deductible is the amount of loss that the homeowner must pay. It may be based
on the value of your home or a fixed dollar amount.
5. Purchase insurance well in advance of a storm. Most
insurers will not offer insurance after a hurricane watch or warning has been
issued. The NFIP also has a 30-day waiting period before the policy is
6. Inventory household items now to speed up claims
processing after the storm.
7. Store important documents where they will stay safe
8. Develop an emergency plan before the emergency.
Determine escape routes, establish a meeting place, stock non-perishable
emergency supplies and a disaster supply kit with enough food and water for
three to seven days. When severe weather is approaching your area, listen
carefully to local authorities and take the necessary precautions to protect
yourself, your family, and your property.
9. Perform routine home maintenance now to avoid major
repairs later. Mitigation is a critical component in reducing the amount of
damage that may occur when a hurricane or tropical storm makes landfall.
10. Don’t make your house a target for debris. Protect
your property by covering all windows with plywood or shutters, moving vehicles
into the garage when possible and placing grills and patio furniture indoors.
PCI’s “Six Steps To Storm Safety” Series
The first brochure, “The Seven Ways To Safety,”
discusses the seven most important features that home and business owners
should inspect to ensure that their structures are wind-resistant. These
include: roof-deck attachment, secondary water barrier, roof covering, gable
end bracing, foundation-wall-roof connections, opening protection and garage
doors. This first brochure can be found on the Web at: www.pciaa.net/web/sitehome.nsf/lcpublic/431/$file/7_ways.pdf.
The second brochure, “A Do-It-Yourself Wind Inspection,” provides detailed
information on the three key steps involved: inspecting roof shape, inspecting
roofing, and inspecting windows, doors and garage doors. It can be found online
The third brochure, “Three Ways In Three Days,” provides three simple and
effective storm-proofing techniques that can easily be done in a weekend. They
include: picking up items that could become wind-borne debris, trimming trees
and using a caulking gun to adhere trusses to roof decking. It can be found
online at: http://www.pciaa.net/web/sitehome.nsf/lcpublic/438/$file/3_Ways_050312.pdf.
The fourth brochure, “Insurance Coverage,” defines key terms such as
deductibles, actual cash value, replacement cost coverage, functional
replacement cost and also reiterates that flood damages are not covered under
standard homeowners policies. It can be found online at: http://www.pciaa.net/web/sitehome.nsf/lcpublic/431/$file/Insurance_Coverage.pdf.
The fifth brochure, “Blowing Away The Myths,” addresses four common myths about
what individuals should do immediately prior to or during a storm. It can be
found online at: http://www.pciaa.net/web/sitehome.nsf/lcpublic/431/$file/Myths.pdf.
The sixth and final brochure, “Steps Before And After A Storm,” provides very
practical steps to help individuals stay safe and quickly return to daily life
after a catastrophic event. It can be found online at: http://www.pciaa.net/web/sitehome.nsf/lcpublic/431/$file/Before_and_After.pdf.
Please also visit the PCI Hurricane Headquarters, which
can be found at: http://www.pciaa.net/web/sitehome.nsf/lcpublic/438?opendocument.
PCI is composed of more than 1,000 member companies, representing
the broadest cross-section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI
members write over $179 billion in annual premium, 38.3 percent of the nation’s
property casualty insurance. Member companies write 44.3 percent of the U.S.
automobile insurance market, 31.6 percent of the homeowners market, 36.3
percent of the commercial property and liability market, and 42.6 percent of
the private workers compensation market.