Hurricane Season in NC

What Does Hurricane Season Mean for Your Insurance Policy?

It’s that time of year again: The weather has warmed up, we’re enjoying the outdoors and everyone is flocking to the beach! However, this time of year also means hearing a lot about hurricanes and floods. (The not so fun part of living by the coast!)

We thought it would be the perfect time to help you get prepared for this year’s hurricane season by providing you with more information on hurricane and flood insurance.

Hurricane Season Radar Tracking

Starting June 1 through November 30, the Atlantic Coast begins to watch what is happening offshores. There has already been a lot of discussion this year on the activity they are expecting. Even though the expectations are for this to be a “near-normal” season, the last couple of years have been “below-normal” and this year is expected to be the most active since 2012. After many years of quiet, we are biting our nails hoping to add another year without major damage caused by a hurricane.

It only takes one hurricane or tropical storm to make landfall to really mess things up. The last destructive storm to hit North Carolina was Hurricane Irene back in August of 2011.

With hurricanes typically comes flooding. There is a big misconception that all of this is covered under one policy. This is not correct. Some hurricanes can cause massive amounts of rain in a short period of time, which causes rivers and waterways to swell quickly and overflow. You’ve heard of the current record floods in South Carolina and Texas…this is simply due to a mass amount of rain in short periods of time, so imagine what a hurricane or tropical storm could do. And, flood insurance doesn’t care if you are in a flood zone or not. From www.FloodSmart.gov, more than 20% of flood insurance claims come from people outside of the mapped high-risk flood areas.

Flooding is a result of rising bodies of lakes, rivers, streams, oceans, etc. This is not covered under your typical homeowners nor windstorm/hailstorm policy. Most common flood insurance is offered through the federally regulated program known as the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). You have to go through an agent to get the policy.

Another difference here on the coast is windstorm/hailstorm coverage. You may have a separate policy covering damages that are due to windstorm or hailstorm; or a different deductible on your primary homeowners policy. On the coast of North Carolina, windstorm is one of our biggest exposures. The type of windstorm could include Tropical Storms, Hurricanes, etc.

Five of the top 10 most costly Hurricanes to hit the United States did damage in North Carolina: Hurricane Hugo in 1989, Hurricanes Charley, Ivan & Frances in 2004; and Hurricane Sandy in 2012 according to Insurance Information Institute at www.iii.org.

If damage is done to the outside of your house; i.e. your roof, siding, or windows and it is due to some type of windstorm or hailstorm, then this would be covered under your windstorm/hailstorm portion. Coverages for this also typically have a larger deductible to help reduce the overall cost.

It’s important to prepare for hurricane season by getting an evacuation kit together, communicating a plan with your family and reviewing your current coverages on your home and automobiles. Knowing what the plans are and making sure you are comfortable with the deductible amounts and replacement costs on your home is extremely important. Take the time to sit down with your agent and review your coverages. You will be thankful you did in the event we have an active hurricane season!

Welcome!

Welcome to my first posting. There is so much information out there today about insurance – from companies promoting for cheap cheap cheap, to quality.  My intention with blogging is hoping to help educate you in understanding your everyday exposures.  Insurance is not all that fun, not all that exciting, but necessary.  Yes you are paying for something you don’t see until that day when something happens.  And I hope that day never happens for you, but if it does, I hope you are correctly insured.

So to start my first post, like I said there is so much to talk about and so many options.  I have an upcoming event I am volunteering for which brings to light teens and driving. So, I think I will focus on that this time.

Allstate Insurance has done tons of research over the last 10 years about teen drivers and their exposure.  They get behind the wheel of a huge piece of metal, not exactly aware of the lethal weapon they just jumped into.  I remember my first day of driving and all the excitement.  You aren’t thinking about all the risk, all the exposures for you or your parents.  You just want to be the cool one and drive.  At 16, you know everything, right?!

I have teamed up with the local division of StreetSafeUS.  They are a non-profit organization where everyone is a volunteer.  This is to show students the risks that are out there the minute they jump behind the wheel of the lethal weapon.  It’s not your everyday driving school type learning environment.  They have real live people come and share their experiences.  Parents that have lost children in driving accidents, others that have caused accidents, and taking the lives of others.  And, then there is the insurance exposure that most of the teenagers and parents are not aware of.  Your limits of liability only pay up to what you have on your policy.  After that, it’s up to you as the policyholder.  You could lose more than money: your home, your savings, retirement and income are exposed.  So, that is why I decided to partner with StreetSafeUS.  To help make our streets safer, our drivers more knowledgeable about what is at risk.  When you have the time to, check out their website at www.streetsafeus.com.  

Here’s some statistics to leave you with:

  • Car crashes are the #1 killer of teens in America2
  • Parents are the #1 influence of teen drivers1
  • 84% of parents and 79% of teens admit to speeding1
  • More parents than teens use their phones while driving1
  • About ½ of teens will likely crash before graduating high school3
  • Teens are 4x more likely to be killed in a car crash with 3+ friends in the car4
  • 69% of teens think they should have more practice before getting a license1
  • 61% of teen passengers killed in a car crash weren’t wearing a seat belt2
  • 6PM to Midnight is the most deadly time for teens on the road2

 

coast-pic-rotator

1  The Allstate Foundation’s 2015 Driving Change Report
2 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2013 Teen Fatality Facts
3 National Safety Council
4 Tefft, Brain C., Allan F. Williams, and Juerk G. Grabowski. “Teen Driver Risk in Relation to Age & Number of Passengers.” (2012): 1. Print