There’s no doubt hurricanes can be devastating to both property and finances. Residents in hurricane-prone areas should prepare their properties and protect their finances sooner rather than later, advises Julie Rochman, president and CEO of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS).
“Now is also the time for property owners – even those purchasing a new home – to review their personal emergency plans and homeowners insurance, complete a home inventory if they haven’t already, and stock on up needed supplies so they are ready for a potential storm. Don’t wait until it’s too late,” Rochman cautions.The IBHS recommends homeowners add these top 10 hurricane-proofing steps to their to-do list to avoid property damage or a financial disaster.
1. Re-adhere shingles to prevent water damage to your roof decking.
2. Secure soffits to the walls to keep them from blowing off and allowing wind-driven rain into your house.
3. Seal gaps in outer walls to prevent water from getting in.
4. Protect windows and doors against flying debris and pressurization with shutters or pre-cut shutter panels that can be put in place quickly.
5. Trim trees away from your home and remove any weak sections that might break off and fall or become flying debris.
6. Review your insurance policy to make sure you understand what is covered and what isn’t.
7. Check your coverage limits to ensure you can rebuild your home and replace your personal belongings.
8. Consider flood insurance because flooding is not covered by standard homeowners or renters insurance.
9. Check your hurricane/windstorm deductible and consider putting aside additional money to rebuild your home if the amount is high.
10. Update your home inventory to speed up the insurance claims process if you have damage. This will also be useful if you apply for disaster aid.