Preparing for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season has begun and lasts through November 30. As Floridians, we have learned from experience that we have no control over when or where a hurricane will hit. Knowledge and preparation is the best way to protect you and your home, so you are ready when a storm hits.

Remember that we want to protect you and what is important to you. Here is a quick list of what you need to check before a warning is issued:

Review your insurance policies: Make sure you understand your policies, what triggers a claim event and check your coverage limits. Evaluate your homeowner policy’s coverage to be sure the value of your home and its contents are insured for the amount it will cost to replace them. Contact one of our licensed agents with any questions or to request additional coverage.

Insurance companies do not accept new applications or requests for increased coverage once a tropical storm or hurricane watch or warning has been issued. Be sure to keep your policies and documents in a safe and easy place to access. Including an itemized list of belongings with receipts and photographs or a video is also a good idea. Remember that we want to protect you and what is important to you.

Do you need flood insurance?: Flooding caused by a hurricane may not be covered by your homeowners insurance. Rising water, water entering your home from the ground, is considered flood water and its damage is covered by a separate flood insurance policy. Contact one of Heacock Insurance professional agents to be sure you are covered.

Check your deductible amount: In Florida, your hurricane deductible is applied on an annual basis. It may also be a Percentage deductible that is based off of the amount of Structure Coverage (Coverage A) on your policy. Most times the Hurricane or Wind/Hail percentage deductible is much higher than that of your All Other Perils deductible. Go to the declarations page of your policy to be sure you understand your deductible amount and when it applies.

Hurricane proof your home: Install storm shutters, replace old garage doors with doors that are code approved for both wind pressure and impact protection, and make sure exterior doors have at least three hinges and a security lock with a dead bolt one-inch long. Keep trees around your home trimmed, clear loose and clogged drains and rain gutters. Identify a place to store lawn furniture, toys, trash cans and items that could be transported up by high winds.

Create a plan: Discuss with your family ahead of time about what to do in case of a hurricane to reduce fear and confusion during the event. Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power.

Have an emergency supply kit: Your basic emergency supplies should include:

  • 3-day supply of water (one gallon per person, per day)
  • 3-day supply of non-perishable and easy to prepare food (per person and per pet)
  • Flashlight or LED lantern
  • Battery powered weather radio, extra batteries
  • Change of clothing per person
  • First aid kit
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Medications and medical items
  • Personal hygiene and sanitation items
  • Waterproof container with cash and important documents

It is better to be overly prepared than under-prepared! Your safety is our main concern and we are here to help with any questions. Please do not hesitate to call us at (863) 385-5171.

We offer this information to help you make decisions that may alleviate your risk, but of course we cannot address every possible risk or guarantee that these tips will work for you in your efforts to protect you, your family or business.