RALEIGH – North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey is using Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 5-11) to encourage North Carolinians to “be prepared” as we approach June 1, the official start of the 2019 hurricane season.
“Be prepared is a good motto adopted long ago by the Boy Scouts,” Commissioner Causey said. “Prepare your home in case a storm is approaching. Prepare to evacuate if local emergency officials deem it prudent. And be prepared by making sure you have enough – and the right kind – of insurance in case a storm damages your home.”
Commissioner Causey offered these tips to help residents prepare for hurricane season and other inclement weather that accompanies hurricane season:
1. Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage. Know exactly what your insurance policy covers. Homeowners policies do not cover flooding. You can only purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. However, there is typically a 30-day waiting period before flood policies take effect, so don’t wait until a storm is approaching to purchase coverage. If you live in a rental property, your landlord’s insurance only covers the building. None of your personal belongings are insured unless you purchase your own renter’s policy.
2. Compile important documents. Gather important paperwork, including insurance policies, medical records, and prescriptions. Be prepared to bring copies with you if you must evacuate.
3. Create a home inventory. Go room to room and write down your brand name, description, estimated value and date of purchase of items in your home. It is also helpful to compile receipts, appraisal documents and serial numbers. Take videos or photographs of your belongings. Store your home inventory and related documents in a safe, easily accessible place online, on your smartphone, on your computer or in a fireproof box or safe deposit box.
4. Identify potential hazards around your home. Hanging tree branches, loose shingles, patio furniture and other outdoor objects can cause damage or injuries in a storm. Make repairs or secure large objects to reduce the threat.
5. Review contact information. Make sure you have up-to-date contact information for your insurance agent and insurance company. Also, make sure your insurance agent and company have your accurate contact information.
6. Keep cash on hand. If the power goes out, credit and debit cards many not work. You’ll need cash to replenish supplies.
7. Have a battery-powered radio. If electricity is out and cell towers are down, radios are the best way to know what’s going on.
8. Have plenty of water. Widespread power outages could make tap water unsafe to drink. The rule of thumb is to have a gallon of water for every family member and pets.
NCDOI Chief Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Michelle Osborne, will be conducting five flood insurance/disaster relief town hall meetings during May to inform residents about what to do before, during and after a storm as well as the need to purchase flood insurance.
The town hall meetings will be held as follows:
10 a.m. Tuesday, May 14 (New Hanover County)
Cape Fear Community College, BB&T Auditorium
4500 Blue Clay Road,
Castle Hayne, N.C. 28429
2 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 (Brunswick County)
Brunswick County Government Complex, Commissioners Chambers
30 Government Center Drive NE
Bolivia, N.C. 28422
10 a.m. Wednesday, May 15 (Pamlico County)
Department of Social Services Building
828 Alliance Main St.
Bayboro, N.C. 28515
7 p.m. Tuesday, May 21 (Carteret County)
Carteret County District Court, Main Downstairs District Courtroom
300 Courthouse Square
Beaufort, N.C. 28516
12 p.m. Thursday, May 23 (Wayne County)
Goldsboro City Hall Council Chambers
200 N. Center St.
Goldsboro, N.C. 27530
Topics to be covered include:
- Insurance policies: Understanding benefits and limitations
- Insurance adjusters: Getting a fair deal
- Insurance claims: Getting assistance
- Insurance mitigation process: Settling disputes