American Property Casualty Insurance Association
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Brooke Kelley-Hunt







May 20, 2014

It Only Takes One: PCI Offers Five Hurricane Season Preparation Tips to Protect Lives and Property


CHICAGO – As hurricane season nears, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is reminding all coastal residents that it only takes one tropical storm or hurricane to cause devastating damage, and preparation is the critical element to protect lives and property.

“Don’t let predictions for a mild hurricane season lull you into a false sense of security,” said Chris Hackett, director of personal lines for PCI. “No matter how active or quiet hurricane season is, any storm can spawn tornadoes, torrential rain, storm surge and flooding that can devastate your property, community or even a region. The Atlantic hurricane season starts next week, and now is the time for residents of all coastal states to prepare. The insurance industry is well prepared and ready to help families and communities all along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts prepare for and recover from these devastating events”

PCI Tips: 2014 Hurricane Season

1. Review and assess your insurance policy

·         Talk with your insurance agent or company about your insurance policy. Check your deductible and make sure you have a solid understanding of your current coverage.

·         Assess whether you have adequate home, auto and other property coverage. Property damage can take a tremendous financial and mental toll. Knowing you have proper coverage will give you peace of mind.

·         Review additional coverage options, particularly flood coverage. Heavy rains and storm surge can cause extensive flood damage in coastal and inland areas. Keep in mind that there’s typically a 30-day waiting period between the date of purchase and when flood coverage takes effect.

2. Develop your emergency and evacuation plans

·         If a hurricane strikes, your family needs to know what to do, where to go and what to take. Map out evacuation routes and set up family communications plans. Practice your emergency plan well in advance of approaching storms so that everyone is prepared to act quickly. Keep cell phones charged. Make sure your insurance information and other important papers can be easily gathered if you need to evacuate quickly.

·         Maintain an emergency supplies kit. Stock a storm kit with a radio, flashlight, batteries, emergency contacts, prescription medications and first-aid items.

·         Incorporate pets into your emergency plan. An estimated 30 million animals were caught in the path of Hurricane Sandy. Be sure to have a plan and supplies ready for your pets.

3. Prepare your home and property for storms

·         Evaluate your home and other property for vulnerable points. Review building codes. Fortify your windows, doors and roof.

·         Keep plywood, extra parts for hurricane shutters, and other storm-proofing items on hand.

·         Try to maintain at least a half tank of gas in your car during hurricane season.

4. Create a home inventory

·         Maintain a detailed inventory of your possessions. Include receipts, descriptions, estimated value and photos of your home’s contents. A home inventory will help ensure that you’ve purchased enough insurance to replace your personal possessions, and it will allow you to quickly and easily report losses to your insurance company. A detailed home inventory also will be helpful if you need to apply for disaster aid.

·         Look into online resources for digitally organizing and storing your inventory so that you can access your information online if your personal computer is damaged or destroyed. If you’re maintaining a paper list of your possessions, consider asking a friend or relative in another state to keep a copy of it for you.

5. Stay informed—and inform others

·         Investigate and download disaster readiness and weather monitoring apps from sources such as the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Insurance Information Institute and The Weather Channel.

·         Share preparation tips and hurricane information and resources with your friends and family through social media and other networks.

·         Stay informed—and inform others—as storms approach. Check the weather forecast regularly and learn about wireless emergency alerts. Seek out information from local media and authorities. Listen closely to evacuation instructions. When alerted by emergency officials, act on the plans you put in place.  

PCI has a wide range of resources available at  to help homeowners and businesses prepare for the upcoming 2014 hurricane season. Follow us on Twitter (@PCIAA) and use #becovered to keep the conversation going.

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 $195 billion in annual premium, 39 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 46 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 32 percent of the homeowners market, 37 percent of the commercial property and liability market, and 41 percent of the private workers compensation market.