Hurricane

It's That Time of Year Already: Hurricane Season

Well, here we are again! As many of you know, hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th and even though it comes around the same time each year, it always seems to sneak up on us. Maybe it’s because it’s very scary and no one wants to think about a hurricane hitting their home, but hurricane season is officially here and we need to be ready for it.

hurricane florida

I’m sure you know the old sports adage - the best offense is a great defense!  This year, let’s have a great defense and protect ourselves from these emergencies as best as we can. Oh, and a big plus is that many of the hurricane preparations you can do just one time and it will last for a couple of years or more!

Here are a few tips to make you the envy of the most prepared neighbor:

Create a Hurricane Emergency Kit

FEMA has created an Emergency Supply Kit list that is a great start. If you have children, pets, or if you are elderly, then your needs would be expanded beyond this list to include additional items to meet those needs. Here’s a great list to get you started:

  • Water:  one gallon of water per person per day for three days; for drinking and sanitation

  • Food: at least three-day supply of non-perishable food

  • Can opener

  • Battery powered or crank radio and extra batteries

  • Flashlight and extra batteries

  • First aid kit

  • Whistle

  • Dust mask for each person

  • Moist towelettes

  • Garbage bags

  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

  • Local maps

  • Prescription medication

  • Important family documents including insurance policies, identification, and bank account records

  • Cash or traveler’s checks

  • Sleeping bag or blanket and pillow for each person

  • At least one complete change of clothes and shoes per person

  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper. When diluted to 9 parts water to 1 parts bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant or 16 drops per gallon of water to treat water. Do not use scented, color safe, or bleaches with added cleaners.

  • Fire extinguisher

  • Matches

  • Personal hygiene items

  • Cups, plates, utensils, paper towels, etc.

  • Paper and pencil

  • Waterproof container for all items

Prepare Your Home

We have many resources that can help you prepare your home for a hurricane that can be found here.  There are also so many helpful links if there were an emergency, like Highway Safety, Weather Radio, FEMA, and many others.

Create a Checklist & Practice for Emergencies With Your Family

The CDC has a full Family Emergency Checklist but check out the list below for a few things to prepare your family for a hurricane and other emergencies:

  • Where will you meet your family members if all of you are not home during evacuation?

  • What is your backup plan if you are unable to reach your family?

  • What route will you and your family need to take to get out of your community? Do you have another route if it’s blocked?

  • What items do you need to take with you?

  • Have you downloaded community alerts on your phone or computer for updates?

  • What emergency services are in your community to help you with an emergency?

  • Do you have a place for your pets if you need to leave your home? Will you be able to take them with you?

  • Have you designated someone out of the area for all family to connect with to keep in touch?

  • Do you know the emergency plans of school of your children and your workplace?

Being prepared for hurricane season doesn’t take out all the stress, but it sure does help you sleep at night knowing that you are as ready as you can be! Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” At Bouchard Insurance, we want to make sure our community is as equipped as we can be! If you know of an unprepared family, please share this information with them and, as always, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We are always here to help!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christin Snow is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Bouchard Insurance. Christin is experienced in all lines of personal insurance. | Connect on LinkedIn

What Happens to Your Automobile During a Storm?

Hurricane season is in full swing. As an insurance advisor, it is my responsibility to educate my clients so they feel confident in their insurance coverages when a storm arises. It’s easy for someone to look at insurance as an afterthought, without realizing the potential impact it could have on someone.  Every year we see these disastrous storms do life-altering damages – and we need to be ready.

Photo by CHRISsadowski/iStock / Getty Images

Hurricane preparedness is a popular topic in the media and cannot be stressed enough.  Instead of focusing on how to prepare for a hurricane, this article is meant to educate you on the coverages that are significant when it comes to being as protected as possible in the event of a storm.

To most people, the primary concern during a hurricane is protecting your home.  Although wind and flood coverages are crucial, other insurance policies are often overlooked.  Have you ever wondered what would happen to your vehicle if it floods or if the wind blows a tree on it? Even though this can happen in the blink of an eye, not many people worry about whether or not their auto is fully insured in regard to a storm.

Did you know that an estimated 500,000 vehicles were destroyed in the Houston area alone during Hurricane Harvey?  This seems unreal; however, it happened and with little warning.

Flood

Flooding is a major concern with hurricanes.  Since automobiles are usually parked in flood prone areas, it’s important to know what line of insurance will cover your auto if it floods: auto insurance or flood insurance?  You might be surprised to find out that your auto insurance will cover the flood loss if you carry physical damage.  Comprehensive coverage is not automatically included into your auto policy; however, it should be added.  Make sure to double check with your insurance advisor to see if you have this coverage.

Falling Objects

With hurricanes come falling trees, telephone lines and poles, roof collapses, etc.  If your vehicle is parked in your garage, does your homeowner’s or auto policy cover it if the roof collapses? In this example, your auto policy will still cover the loss if you carry comprehensive and collision coverages.  The same goes for any other falling object, such as a tree or pole. 

Evacuating

When you are forced to evacuate, it’s an extremely stressful time.  People are on a mission to get out of the area fast.  Driving out of town becomes extremely dangerous due to the amount of people on the road.  Make sure to look over your liability and uninsured motorist’s coverage to make sure you have enough in case an accident occurs.

Hurricanes are unpredictable and can change paths at any time.  Before you are forced to evacuate or decide to “hunker down” for a storm, review your auto insurance with your advisor.  Not only will this give you confidence that your auto will be covered for physical damage, but will also give you peace of mind.


About The Author

Abbey Bouchard.jpg

Abbey Bouchard, a Client Advisor in the Private Client division of Bouchard, specializes in high net worth personal insurance that focuses on affluent individuals with more complex insurance portfolios and exposures. As a third generation Bouchard working for Bouchard Insurance, Abbey’s purpose is to continually better serve the affluent client base by promoting exemplary service and always putting the client first. | Connect on LinkedIn

Hurricane Deductibles - Know Your Options

In 2017, there were 6 major hurricanes, including two Category 4 and two Category 5’s in the Atlantic. Irma packed winds of over 130 miles per hour as it hit Florida. In 2016, Florida was spared the worst of Hurricane Matthew, but definitely saw the devastation it created.

Hurricane activity in 2018 is expected to be above normal. Are you ready?

Photo by jon11/iStock / Getty Images

Now is the time to review your property policy, be aware of the limitations it contains, and understand how your Hurricane Deductible is calculated. Hurricane Deductibles are typically a percentage (usually 2-5%) of the amount of dwelling coverage you have. For example, a home insured for $300,000 with a 2% hurricane deductible would cost the homeowner $6,000 before coverage kicks in. However, new options and new policies have hit the Florida market to provide relief from these high deductibles.

“Flat” Deductibles

Several companies are now offering a “flat” dollar amount for the Hurricane Deductible with some as low as $500. Surprisingly, the premiums for these lower deductibles are not as substantial as you would think. The catch; however, is, that in most cases, deductibles can only be decreased on the policy’s renewal date. 

CAT4Home

A CAT4Home deductible buyback policy can pay up to 100% of losses covered within your deductible. These polices are based on the location of your home, as well as the home’s age and construction features.    

StormPeace

A StormPeace policy will provide you with money right away to get back on your feet.  Aside from the hurricane deductible, coverage is provided for things like evacuation expenses, damage to landscaping, pool cages, debris removal, food spoilage, and other losses not covered by your homeowner’s policy. The claim payout is based on the intensity and proximity of the hurricane to your home.

We are here to help! Please contact us today at 844-848-9373 or email MyInsurance@BouchardInsurance.com to discuss which option may be best for you.


About The Author

Kristie Pauly Linkedin.jpg

Kristie Pauly is the Vice President of Personal Lines at Bouchard Insurance. Kristie's team focuses on protecting individual's assets through all lines of personal insurance. | Connect on LinkedIn