Many of us in Orlando have just recently finished having our homes repaired from Hurricane Irma damage, so it seems early to be thinking about the 2018 hurricane season. However, the season starts June 1 – less than two months from now – and hurricane scientists are predicting another whopper season!
Now is the time to review your homeowners insurance policy and prepare your home and family for the storms to come.
When you’re upset and trying to assess the damage to your home following a severe storm, it is difficult to read your insurance policy calmly and decipher what is supposed to be covered. Taking time to read through it now and refresh your memory about your coverage makes a lot more sense. It might not be enjoyable reading, but it will help prevent problems later on.
Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your level of coverage and your need for additional coverage for specially listed items such as jewelry, antiques, and art. As you review your coverage, keep in mind that some policies cover items for their cash value at the time they are damaged (so, for example, you will not receive anything near the full cost it will take to replace a 15 year old roof), while others pay replacement cost but typically require you to pay a certain percentage of it.
Also, keep in mind that flood damage is not covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. Only damage from water that did not come into contact with the ground is covered by ordinary homeowners policies, so you might want to consider purchasing a flood insurance policy if you’re concerned about overflow from a body of water coming into your home, rising water flooding your lanai or sun room, or ground water weakening your home structure after heavy rains.
Days before Hurricane Irma hit Central Florida and Orlando, stores had sold out of wood for covering windows, flashlights, water, and other essential storm supplies. After the storm, many parts of the area were without power, and retail stores, offices, gas stations, and banks were closed. This year maybe we’ve learned our lesson: keeping necessary supplies on hand is important in preparing for hurricane season.
First on the list of necessary supplies is food and water. Experts in emergency planning suggest having at least 3 gallons of water per person in your household and a minimum 3-day supply of non-perishable, nutritious food items on hand. The food items should be things that can be prepared and stored easily, since you may be without power.
Next, think of your energy and technology needs if you are without power. Flashlights for each family member and extra batteries are extremely important for being able to get around in the dark and find what you need. Head lamps can also be worn to free up your hands and light your way in the dark. Portable cell phone chargers are also important for communication, and a battery-powered or hand-crank radio will help you be in-the-know about weather conditions and environmental safety issues.
In addition to cell phone chargers, a radio, flashlights, and batteries, your supply kit should include first aid supplies, medications, insect repellent, sunscreen, and personal hygiene items. Basic tools and rain gear could also come in handy. Finally, a camera should be included so you can take pictures of any damage.
Even the best preparations can’t prevent damage if a hurricane hits the Orlando area again, and, as we saw with Irma, the damage can be extensive and expensive.
Hopefully, we won’t be hit as hard this year, but, in case we are, know that the experienced hurricane damage attorneys at Malik Law are here 24/7 to help you get compensated fairly for all damages.