By Sam Shrimer for Island Eye News
After seeing several named storms in recent years, the Lowcountry is on high alert each summer heading into hurricane season. Just last year, Hurricane Florence caused over $2 billion in insured losses with record-breaking rainfall on the coasts of North and South Carolina. In 2017, we witnessed Hurricane Irma, the most powerful storm since Katrina in 2005, and the third costliest hurricane in history.
While we hope this caliber of disaster never strikes again, it is important to make sure your home and other assets are protected from these natural disasters. As we near the peak of 2019 hurricane season, there are several ways to prepare your home and family now, so that you are ready when disaster strikes.
The most important step to preparation is checking and familiarizing yourself with your insurance policies. Many homeowners are not aware that standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood, wind, hail, or earthquakes. Often these are added as separate policies or additional coverage on an existing policy. An important thing to note is coverage cannot be added right before a storm, so it’s critical to schedule an annual insurance review well in advance to accommodate any life changes you may have recently experienced. At Schirmer Insurance Group, we can evaluate your current policy and we strive to make sure you are fully prepared. We thoroughly discuss what is included in your policy, as well as what is not covered and may require an additional policy.
Aside from the structure of the home, it is also important to cover everything inside. For high-value goods, you may want to explore an “Inland Marine” policy, which covers valuables such as cash, firearms, jewelry, artwork, or electronics. If you own watercraft or recreational vehicles, it is important to have adequate coverage for each item.
Our agents at Schirmer Insurance Group can consult with you to put together a tailored policy or bundle that works best for you and your lifestyle.
There are some steps you can take at any time to ensure you and your family are ready in the event of an evacuation or post-hurricane damage. First, make copies of any important documents in your home such as birth certificates, passports, medical records, legal documents, and insurance policies. Secure the copies in a safe place or transfer them to an external hard drive that can be easily transported. Second, create a home inventory of any furnishings and valuables. It is recommended this inventory be in the form of pictures or videos that can be accessible in the event of a loss. Lastly, when evacuating, make sure you have cash on hand as well as a camera, phone charger, replacement sets of keys, and an emergency supply kit. Have an emergency plan and review with your family members regularly.
Call Schirmer Insurance Group at 843.881.4707, with questions regarding disaster preparedness, or to help you find an insurance solution that is right for you.