Some Facts about Hurricane Season:
- The 2015 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The areas covered include the North Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.
- The National Weather Service defines a hurricane as “an intense tropical weather system with well-defined circulation and sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.”
- Hurricanes are rated according to intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
- The 1-5 scale estimates potential property damage.
- A Category 3 or higher is considered a major hurricane.
- A hurricane watch indicates the possibility that a region could experience hurricane conditions within 48 hours.
- A hurricane warning indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 36 hours.
- The Tropical Meteorology Project from Colorado State University predicts that the “2015 Atlantic basin hurricane season will be one of the least active seasons since the middle of the 20th century.” They predict seven named storms and three hurricanes.
Some Facts about Flood Insurance:
Flood insurance covers both the building and contents inside, but it doesn’t cover the land on which the dwelling is located. There may be limited coverage for basements, crawlspaces, lower floors and enclosed floors of elevated buildings.
Dwelling coverage will cover property up to $250,000 and contents coverage insures up to $100,000 of personal property. The NFIP recommends purchasing both types of coverage since homeowners insurance will not cover losses attributed to flooding.
Building coverage covers:
• The building and its foundation
• The electrical and plumbing systems
• Major systems like central air conditioning equipment, furnaces and the hot water heater
• Some appliances such as refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances like dishwashers
• Permanently installed carpeting over an unfinished floor (e.g., wood, cement)
• Window blinds
• Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases and cabinets
• A detached garage (up to 10% of building property coverage)
Coverage for contents includes:
• Clothing, furniture and electronic equipment
• Portable and window air conditioners
• Portable appliances such as microwaves and dishwashers
• Carpeting that is not covered under the building coverage
• Clothes washers and dryers
• Food freezers and the food in them
• Certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500)
What it doesn’t cover:
There are a number of damages and expenses a flood insurance policy will not cover. These include:
• Currency, precious metals and valuable papers like stock certificates
• Damage caused by moisture, mildew or mold that could have been prevented by the homeowner or renter
• Property and items outside of the dwelling such as trees, plants, wells, septic systems, walkways, decks, patios, fences, hot tubs, seawalls and swimming pools
• Financial losses due to business interruption or loss of use of the insured property
• Most self-propelled vehicles – e.g., cars, motorcycles, four-wheelers, etc.
Give Berkely Brokerage Corp. a call with any questions you have about this important coverage. If you need flood insurance, don’t hesitate to contact us because in most cases, there is a 30-day waiting period between the time flood insurance is purchased and the time coverage is in force. Remember – hurricane season begins in a few weeks on June 1st.