Special to Iredell Free News
In recognition of Hurricane Preparedness Week, which runs May 9-15, N.C. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey urges families to prepare now for hurricane season and the potential of extreme weather.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs June 1 to November 30.
“Your family should prepare now for possible extreme weather in the coming months,” said Causey. “Not only should you have an emergency plan in place, but one of your top priorities should be to make sure you have the appropriate insurance coverage for dangerous storms and flooding that could cause serious damage to your home or your property.”
Preparation before a storm is key. Residents should take inventory and document what they own. This will help insurance companies examine potential losses and assure proper coverage. In addition, individuals and families should have a storm-readiness plan in place. Families should discuss the plan so everyone knows how to respond once a storm hits.
Residents should also be aware of the following:
♦ Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies do not cover damage from floods, although most mobile homeowners’ and comprehensive auto policies do.
♦ A landlord’s insurance policy likely won’t cover damage to a renter’s personal property.
♦ The National Flood Insurance Program takes 30 days to take effect. Waiting to take out a flood policy once a storm or hurricane is in motion will be too late.
♦ Just because there’s no longer a mortgage on a home does not nullify the need for homeowners’ insurance.
Since it takes 30 days for a flood policy to take effect, now is the time to contact your agent to see if you have the proper coverage. Commissioner Causey has approved a statewide private flood insurance program that participating companies can offer to residents living anywhere in the state. The program is separate from the National Flood Insurance Program.
Causey has set up free flood insurance conferences across the state to educate the public on the need for flood insurance. Insurance agents, real estate agents, adjusters, engineers and architects can receive continuing education credits by attending one of these conferences.