CHICAGO – August 28, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — With National Preparedness Month set to begin September 1, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) says this is the perfect time to contact your insurance agent or company and make sure you are properly covered for all natural disasters.
“PCI is partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to offer flood, wildfire, hurricane and power outage preparation and recovery tips throughout September to help you keep your home and family safe in case disaster strikes,” said Chris Hackett, director of personal lines for PCI.
The current El Nino is gaining strength in the Pacific Ocean and has the potential to become one of the most powerful on record, surpassing the El Nino of 1997. It is already stronger than that one was at this time of year.
While California may feel the initial effects of the El Nino, rain, flooding and mudslides could be experienced across the United States. It is important to keep in mind that 25 percent of National Flood Insurance Program’s claims are from those living outside the high-risk flood areas.
What does this mean for homeowners?
“Homeowners, in some parts of the country, who are starting to make preparations for fall will want to make sure their homes are protected if flooding occurs,” said Hackett.
While the typical homeowner’s policy does not cover flood damage, there are resources available to help. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can be contacted at 800-621-3362 or www.fema.gov Residents with flood insurance policies through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can contact either the flood insurance agent or the NFIP directly at (888) 379-9531 or www.floodsmart.gov.
“All homeowners should take steps to better understand their insurance policies and what they cover,” said Hackett. “Using National Preparedness Month as the time to create a disaster response plan, update your home inventory list and make sure your insurance is up to date is really smart. It always pays to make sure you are prepared.”
Tips If You Experienced a Loss:
Immediately contact your insurance agent or company representative.
Inspect property and cars for damage.
Inventory losses and photograph damage, and save related receipts to assist with claims handling.
Secure property from further damage or theft.
Check the background and legitimacy of repair contractors. Ask your insurance company for assistance in locating a reputable contractor.
Keep detailed records of business activity and extra expenses during the interruption period, and prepare records to show the income from the business both before and after the loss.
PCI promotes and protects the viability of a competitive private insurance market for the benefit of consumers and insurers. PCI is composed of nearly 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write more than $183 billion in annual premium, 35 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 42 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 27 percent of the homeowners market, 32 percent of the commercial property and liability market and 34 percent of the private workers compensation market.