Earlier this month, Hurricane Florence made its towards the East Coast and made landfall in North Carolina, near the border to South Carolina on September 14, in accordance with the latest predictions from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Evacuations were ordered for residents in coastal areas of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, and the president already declared states of emergency for all three states. Additionally, based on the storm’s projected path and recommendations from state emergency management officials, the governor of Georgia declared a state of emergency for all counties in the state. Other states, such as Delaware and Maryland, also prepared for potential flooding and damage.
After Hurricane Harvey, Florence was named “the wettest storm in 70 years”, and the National Weather Service named it a “one in a thousand year rainfall event.” Here are some of the numbers:
- Over a four-day period, rain fell across the Carolinas, estimated by some to be up to 40 inches.
- Damage has been estimated as greater than $38 billion, ranking sixth on the National Hurricane Center’s list of costliest Atlantic hurricanes in the United States.
- As of today, the death toll is 48 people.
- Tens of thousands of people in South Carolina and hundreds of thousands in North Carolina lost power.
- Many major roads were closed even after the hurricane subsided due to the extensive flooding.
We are fortunate that the hurricane did not make landfall in the DelMarVa region, but we still have one month remaining in the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Are your clients prepared for a storm of this magnitude? It’s not too late to check in with them and make sure. Below are some of the ways agents can help their clients prepare for any future hurricanes.
Send a Hurricane Insurance Coverage Update and Claim Information
Your coastal clients likely already have hurricane insurance coverage, but they can benefit from an update that reminds them about what their coverage entails and what they need to do if they have to file a claim. The type of damage incurred will determine which property or casualty policy the homeowner needs to file their claim under. Sending clients this information ahead of time can make things less stressful for them after the hurricane is over and the recovery period begins.
Remind Clients to Secure Exterior Property
Most often it’s not the wind itself that causes damage, but rather the debris it picks up along the way. Loose branches, untrimmed or unhealthy trees and unsecured outdoor furniture pose a significant threat to homes and other property in severe weather conditions. It’s important to remind clients that any outdoor property including tables, chairs, umbrellas, signage or decorations that are easily movable can become a projectile during heavy gusts of wind, which can cause major damage to their home, vehicle, garage or other structures. These types of items should secured to the ground or building with heavy reinforcements or moved inside prior to a storm hitting.
Follow Evacuation Orders
Homeowners, especially those on the coast or in high-risk flood zone areas, should always follow evacuation orders, even if they are not mandatory. Hurricane Florence brought not only brought storm surges between nine and 13 feet or higher, but also heavy rains. When Hurricane Florence hit, many major roads flooded, making evacuation for those who’d stayed in their homes difficult. Although homeowners feel compelled to “protect” their homes by staying there, agents can remind them that no home is worth risking their lives for. Their lives are the most important priority, and their hurricane insurance can help take care of everything else.
About Wilmington Insurance Agency
Wilmington Insurance Agency delivers comprehensive coastal property solutions. We are a Managing General Agency and provide independent insurance agents with property and liability insurance solutions for residents and businesses primarily in Maryland and Virginia. We work alongside our sister company, Wilmington Insurance Company, established in 1996 and providing Property & Casualty commercial lines business, homeowners, and condominium insurance in the state of Delaware. To learn more about how we can help you to expand your book of business in the coastal market, contact us at (302) 231-2800.