Hurricane Season Approaching â Are You Ready?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2007
Elizabeth Stelzer (614) 249-1025
Columbus, Ohio – National Hurricane Center is predicting a very active 2007 hurricane season with at least 17 named storms, nine hurricanes and five major hurricanes with category three to five range. Even though last season had no landfalling hurricanes, forecasters remind us we remain in an active hurricane cycle likely to last another 10 to 20 years.
As hurricane season begins, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., the country’s sixth-largest property and casualty insurance company, urges policyholders to review their insurance policies as part of storm season preparation.
“It's crucial for policyholders to know about their insurance coverage before a storm hits,” said Ken Enscoe, Nationwide’s director of catastrophe claims operations. “Advance planning is key to surviving the aftermath of a hurricane.”
Policyholders can take the following steps now to help prepare for a hurricane event:
• Before an event, examine your property to ensure there are no physical
and/or liability hazards present.
• Find out if your home meets current building code requirements for high-wind regions. If you are uncertain, call a qualified professional architect, engineer, building contractor, or your local building department.
• Protect the four critical areas where wind can enter: roof, windows, doors and garage doors. Either you or a building contractor can build and install temporary protection, such as approved wind shutters or plywood on windows and coverings for patio and entry doors, strengthen and stiffen garage doors, and install heavy-duty door hardware.
• Turn off power and water.
• Move anything in your yard that can become flying debris inside your house or garage.
• Protect mementos in waterproof containers and/or take the items with you if you evacuate. (Other household items can be replaced.)
• When working outside replace gravel/rock landscaping material with shredded bark and trim trees in precarious positions.
• Read and understand your insurance policy.
o Be sure you have adequate homeowner and auto coverage and that the deductibles you have selected are reasonable for your needs.
• Inventory valuables and contents in the home with pictures or video. Note the approximate value of each item and the date of purchase. You can also send an inventory to a family member outside your region for safekeeping.
• Make sure important documents, such as an insurance policy or mortgage
papers, are stored in a safe deposit or fire safe box.
• Speak with your agent in detail about an appropriate deductible level. Generally speaking, the higher the deductible, the lower your insurance premium.
• If you have expensive or specialty items (i.e. jewelry, furs, silverware, cameras, collectibles, etc.) speak with your agent about broader coverage, since these items have limited coverage under the terms of your homeowners policy. Additional premium will be required for this increase in coverage.
• Flood water that enters into a home may be covered by the specialized flood coverage underwritten by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program and is available for purchase through most Nationwide Insurance agents. Check with your agent about flood insurance policies.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $160 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks 104th on the Fortune 500 list. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, homeowners, life, health, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mutual funds, pensions and long-term savings plans. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
Nationwide and the Nationwide Framework are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. On Your Side is a service mark of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.