Hurricane Matthew Could Make Landfall in the United States: Insurance Trade says Prepare Now

RALEIGH, N.C. - With the potential for Hurricane Matthew to hit somewhere along the East Coast, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is urging property owners to take some basic precautions to protect themselves and their belongings before it’s too late.

“This system could bring major flooding and damage to areas along the East Coast,” said Oyango Snell, PCI’s regional manager. While it’s still uncertain whether it will make a direct hit, this is a good reminder for residents to prepare now as we are still in the middle of hurricane season.”

In addition to making sure you have your emergency kit and plan ready, it is also a good idea to take precautionary measures to prevent damage to vulnerable property. Coastal residents should plan now for the possibility of evacuation orders. If you sustain damage, report claims to you insurer as soon as possible to begin the recovery process,” added Snell.

“Insurers and catastrophe teams will be ready to respond should this storm cause any damage. PCI and other industry groups are constantly working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to assist homeowners and business owners before and after any disaster.”

Flooding from storm surge during hurricanes and tropical storms can be especially dangerous for residents along the coast and further inland. “It’s important that homeowners, especially those who have never been through a storm, know that flood insurance is not covered by your standard homeowners policy, and you may want to purchase additional coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program . Keep in mind that there’s typically a 30-day waiting period between the date of purchase and when flood coverage takes effect,” said Snell.

PCI Hurricane Precautions:

• Review your property insurance policy, especially the “declarations” page, and check whether your policy pays replacement costs, or actual cash value for a covered loss.

• Inventory your household items, and photograph or videotape them for further documentation. Keep this information and your insurance policies in a safe place.

• Keep the name, address and claims-reporting telephone number of your insurer and agent in a safe and easily accessible place.

• 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.

• Keep all receipts for any repairs so your insurance company can reimburse you.

• Check with your insurance adjuster for referrals to professional restoration, cleaning and salvage companies if additional assistance is needed.

Make sure watercraft are stored in a secure area, like a garage or covered boat dock. A typical homeowner’s policy will cover property damage in limited instances for small watercraft, and separate boat policies will provide broader, more extensive property and liability protection for larger, faster boat, yachts, jet skis and wave runners. Additional information can be found on PCI’s Hurricane Headquarters Page .

PCI Resources:

Link to Online Magazine:

http://bit.ly/PCIHurricane16  

Infographics:

PCI 2016 Have A Plan Insurance Checklist: http://bit.ly/PCIHurricaneChecklist16  

2016 Hurricane Fact Sheet: http://bit.ly/PCIHurricaneStats      

About Us

PCI promotes and protects the viability of a competitive private insurance market for the benefit of consumers and insurers. PCI is composed of nearly 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write more than $183 billion in annual premium, 35 percent of the nation's property casualty insurance. Member companies write 42 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 27 percent of the homeowners market, 32 percent of the commercial property and liability market and 34 percent of the private workers compensation market.

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Keep in mind that there’s typically a 30-day waiting period between the date of purchase and when flood coverage takes effect
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Keep the name, address and claims-reporting telephone number of your insurer and agent in a safe and easily accessible place.
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Insurers and catastrophe teams will be ready to respond should this storm cause any damage.
Oyango Snell, PCI’s regional manager