Hurricane Flood Insurance

Hurricane

Image by Chalky Lives via Flickr

Hurricane Flood Insurance

Hurricane disasters have hit the headlines more times than I care to remember over the last few years, these severe tropical storms forming way out in the Caribbean or the South Atlantic, gathering heat and energy as they surge towards the land leaving a devastating landscape of havoc and destruction in their wake. With winds so strong that cars are lifted and thrown around like toys, trees which have been firmly planted for decades can be ripped out by their roots and smashed into buildings, roofs tossed away like tissue paper. The wind, the rain, the storm surges on the ocean . . . hurricanes really do cause severe damage on many different levels.

Hurricane Flood Insurance

Fortunately there are things which we can do in order to protect ourselves and our homes, both physically and financially from the damage caused by hurricanes. Even if you have adequate hurricane flood insurance, there are other simple rules which you can follow the minimize the damage.

  • Flooding generally starts at the bottom of the house . . . in the basement (if you have one), so it stands to reason that you should never keep valuables in the basement, in fact, the higher they are located in your house the safer they will be from flooding.
  • Water and electricity is a pretty lethal combination, so it’s a good idea to ensure that the fuse box or main breaker is above any flood level for your particular area, so if your home is flooded hopefully the utilities won’t be disrupted.
  • Windows and glass can be protected by storm shutters, it’s really the safest option if tree trunks start flying about in the wind . . . you don’t want one of those to come smashing in do you?

Flood Damage -vs- Hurricane Damage

Some general household insurance policies will offer cover against hurricane damage but not flood damage. What’s the difference? Well, a bit like the stalagtites and the stalagmites (one goes down and the other goes up), a good rule of thumb is that flood waters are those which start from the bottom and rise up through the basement, and any damage caused by the wind or falling water is not considered to be caused by a flood, that’s hurricane damage. You really need to either ask your insurance agent or check out the small print on your flood insurance policy to make absolutely sure about what’s covered and what’s not! Don’t ever make assumptions, it’s a little too late to clarify these points when you need your wellington boots to go down the stairs.

Hurricane Warnings

Unlike some types of flooding disaster, hurricanes do often come with at least some sort of warning. The clever weather types can easily see what’s brewing over the sea and predict the time of arrival, speed and direction of impending storms. So how do you know if it’s time to prepare for a hurricane (although you should already have your flood insurance in place . . . you usually need to have it for a minimum of 30 days before it comes into force and you won’t get THAT MUCH warning!)

Television and radio is the best place to find out about early hurricane warnings. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your neighbors in case you’ve missed anything . . . if they start battening down the hatches, securing the garage door and bringing in the patio furniture then there’s a very good chance that they know something you don’t . . . unless they’re heading off for their annual vacation of course!

Yes, it’s all for real! It’s a pretty scary thing to get caught up in don’t you think, and did you see the house roof, as I said it looks just like tissue paper . . .

 

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