Published On: Thu, Aug 29th, 2019

Hurricane Dorian update: Insurance tips – what YOU should do to prepare for hurricane | World | News


Hurricane Dorian is hurtling across the Atlantic Ocean heading towards land, unleashing intemperate weather on regions surrounding the eye of the storm as it prepares to slam the US. While the exact track of Dorian is uncertain, a strike along the East Coast of Florida is becoming increasingly probable. As the storm tracks closer, the hazardous torrential rain, major flooding and strong winds could majorly impact lives and property. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to help you prepare for a hurricane.

Hurricane Dorian thrashed the US Virgin Islands as it made its path past the islands, heading away from Puerto Rico towards Florida.

The latest NOAA update revealed Hurricane Dorian is expected to intensify into a major hurricane by the time it makes landfall in Florida, which the National Hurricane Center (NHC) says will cause “catastrophic damage”.

This “catastrophic damage” means well-built framed homes may sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls.

It is also possible most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed, while fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas.

These power outages can last weeks, possibly months, and most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

If Dorian worsens into a Category 4 storm, it would be the first of that strength since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which killed 62 people, to reach Florida’s East Coast.

Hurricane Andrew caused $27.3 billion (£22.42 billion) worth of damage across the Bahamas, Florida, Louisiana, the southeastern United States and Mid-Atlantic states.

The National Hurricane Center has said: “Strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Dorian is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday, and remain an extremely dangerous hurricane through the weekend.”

So how can you make sure your insurance is prepared for Dorian to hit?

The first thing you should do is find your policy and understand what it covers.

You should check your deductible as well, because a hurricane claim is very different than other claims.

You should also verify if you have flood insurance, rising water outside can come inside your home.

There is usually a specific flood policy for this type of damage and it is not typically covered under your homeowner’s policy.

It is possible your car could also be damaged during the storm.

You should verify if your car is covered in your policy, and specifically if your homeowner’s policy covers damage to your car if it is located in your garage – often it will not.

If it does not cover that, you will still need comprehensive coverage as your car is a different item and will not be covered under your homeowner’s policy.

You are advised to create an online account with your insurance company and keep a list of claims procedures, telephone numbers and policy numbers on hand.

It is also best to prepare a detailed inventory of all personal property, including invoices for large purchases, ahead of Dorian’s arrival.

You should also photograph all of your personal property and store them on a secure flash drive or in the cloud.

It is advisable to also send a copy of this inventory to an out-of-state friend or relative in case the drive or your cloud is damaged or inaccessible.

Insurance is a necessity and while you hope you will not have to use it, previous hurricanes have alerted people to the serious gaps in their coverage.

It is always best to understand exactly what your policy does and does not cover.

If you are unsure you should call your insurance agent and ask these four questions:

  • What is my deductible?
  • Am I covered for replacement value?
  • Am I covered for flood?
  • If I’m a renter, what’s included in my policy?

If you are having trouble or have questions about your insurance coverage, call Florida’s Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236) or log onto https://www.myfloridacfo.com/.



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