Hurricane Season is Fast Approaching
Thursday, May 1, 2014
As the 2014 hurricane season approaches its start date of June 1, the preparation as an insurance agent and homeowner starts now. Living in beautiful South Florida brings weeks of sunshine and warm temperatures, even during the winter months, but it also presents some challenges. Perhaps the biggest challenge falls between June 1 and November 30. Every year we hear from weather professionals their prediction of what the season will bring. Some years they say “this will be the worst hurricane season yet,” and others they forecast that “this season will be slower than average.” The latter is the anticipation of the 2014 hurricane season; slower than average.
This news is both great and concerning. Great news for obvious reasons; no Florida resident wants to endure a hurricane or deal with the damage one might bring. But it concerns me because a prediction of this kind may put people too much at ease and cause Floridians to neglect planning and preparing. Keep this in mind: it only takes one hurricane to dramatically affect lives.
Insurance carriers across the country are currently in the process of organizing and strategizing how best to handle hurricanes and other such storms, so that effective procedures are in place should one hit. On the local level, insurance agencies also need to plan and prepare for a severe weather occurrence, whether a named storm or a rain event, such as Isaac a few years ago. Here are some suggestions that will assist you, as an insurance agent, if a storm does occur:
- Have a restoration vendor in your arsenal and use them BEFORE a hurricane hits. The most dangerous thing you can do as an agency is to refer out a company you have never used during an emergency situation. You need to develop a working relationship with a trusted vendor so that you know you can count on them, especially in an emergency situation.
- Make sure the restoration company is properly licensed and insured.
- Take a tour of their facility. Meet their team, confirm they have enough equipment, etc.
- Make sure they are approved with the insurance carriers you write for. Almost all companies will advertise that they “will bill the insurance carrier directly,” or “we work with your insurance company.” These are mostly slogans. There are VERY FEW restoration/construction companies that are approved. Please check with the carrier directly for this information.
The good news is that insurance carriers have done all the “hard work” in finding and vetting restoration vendors, as well as establishing guidelines and procedures for how they work with these companies. As the preferred vendor for over 40 insurance carriers in the South Florida market, we have the knowledge necessary to assist any homeowner, property manager, insurance agent, etc. with any water, fire, mold or biohazard related losses.
Call me today to schedule a visit of our warehouse and to meet our team.
– Written by Aaron Getty