Columbia, S.C. – June 1, 2018 – The official start of hurricane season is here. South Carolinians have gotten an early start to the season with Subtropical Storm Alberto bringing heavy rains to parts of the state. Forecasts are calling for an average to slightly-above-average storm season this year. Now is the time for South Carolinians to prepare.
“We've had plenty of recent reminders that South Carolina can be impacted by hurricanes and other tropical systems," said Russ Dubisky, executive director of the South Carolina Insurance Association. "Planning ahead is crucial to your safety, and there is little time to get your home ready and make other plans when a storm is imminent.”
The biggest steps towards preparing for hurricane season include a thorough insurance review and developing an emergency plan.
Here is some helpful information to make sure you’re prepared this hurricane season:
Talk to your agent or company to update, ask questions, and make sure you have the right coverages and deductibles in place to protect against a loss.
• Flood insurance is not included in a basic homeowners policy. Floods (including storm surge brought on by hurricanes) are the most common natural disaster in the U.S. Since the whole state is susceptible to flooding, the S.C. Insurance Association encourages everyone to consider purchasing flood insurance.
• In the event wind and hail insurance is unavailable through the private market, some coastal residents may need to obtain a separate policy through the South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association (SCWHUA).
• A deductible is the amount of loss paid by the policyholder before insurance kicks in. Different insurance companies offer different types of deductibles. Percentage deductibles can range from 1 percent to 10 percent and your policy may contain more than one deductible. For example, your standard homeowners’ policy deductible may be $1,000, but you might have a 2 percent wind deductible.
• A home inventory is a great way to ensure you have adequate coverage for your home’s contents. A home inventory is a list of all your personal possessions and their estimated value.
Have a plan in place if a storm is threatening and evacuations have been ordered.
• Prepare the exterior of your home and yard if strong winds and water are imminent. Nail any loose shingles or boards, and cover windows with plywood or storm shutters. Bring lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, grills and outdoor decorative items into the garage. Cut weak limbs and those overhanging a structure and remove yard debris.
• Decide ahead of time where you’ll go if an evacuation order is issued, and have more than one alternative – the home of a friend or family member, a hotel, a shelter. Be sure to listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio and TV stations for evacuation information and instructions.
• Plan what to take with you. Disaster kits should include prescriptions, bottled water, clothing, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, batteries, items needed for pets, insurance policies, your home inventory, passports/drivers licenses/ID cards, birth and marriage certificates, and bank account numbers and other financial information.
For more information from the S.C. Insurance Association, or to schedule an interview, call (803)252-3455.
Formally known as the South Carolina Insurance News Service, the S.C. Insurance Association has been providing free insurance information to consumers and the media about property and casualty insurance issues for over 40 years.
For more information, contact the South Carolina Insurance News Service at 803-252-3455 or use our contact form.