Welcome, readers! This is Abri News, where you’ll find helpful policy information to assist you in finding the best coverage for your needs. We cover a variety of topics here, including insurance plans, types of coverage, claim adjustments, conditions and clauses. Our most recent article will give you the information you need to determine the level of workers compensation insurance required by your state! If you’re unsure whether you’re working within a high-risk profession, our last article is a great resource. Check out ‘A Comprehensive Overview of Workers Compensation Insurance’ for more detailed information!
Hurricane Ida made history as the second most damaging storm to ever strike Louisiana. On August 27th, the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Category 4 hurricane made landfall at Port Fourchon, Louisiana. Tied for the strongest hurricane to make landfall there with Hurricane Laura (2020) and Last Island Hurricane (1856), Hurricane Ida had sustained winds of up to 150 mph. It was also the sixth costliest tropical cyclone to hit the United States, costing about $50 billion in damages. After breaking multiple rainfall records, Ida precipitated major flooding in cities like New York and New Jersey. The hurricane was responsible for an estimated 109 deaths, between the United States and Venezuela.
Hurricane season extends from June 1st to November 30th, thus encompassing the entirety of summer and a good portion of fall. Hurricane Ida was only the ninth named storm during a season in which scientists predicted at least thirteen. As climate change alters weather patterns all over the globe, we can expect even more extreme weather in the future.
Hurricanes can be a deadly mix of wind and water. Even a Category 1 hurricane can cause damage to roofs, gutters, and siding with its 74 mph winds. As well, storm surge can cause flooding. Downed power lines might mean loss of power for a few days. Now, a Category 2 hurricane can cause extensive damage to homes and businesses and result in loss of power for at least a week. Categories 3 through 5 are classified as major hurricanes and can have devastating impacts. While a Category 3 hurricane can leave your home without access to water for days, a Category 5 hurricane can make an area uninhabitable for months.
The flooding which occurred in the northeastern United States following Ida caught many by surprise. Those affected might not have considered their towns and cities to be susceptible to extreme hurricane damage. That’s why it's important to seek coverage for hurricanes, even if you live in an area traditionally unaffected. And, if you live in an area where hurricanes are common, it's important for you to ensure you have the proper coverage. Therefore, today, we’re illustrating ways you can prepare for hurricanes from an insurance standpoint.
Are You Covered?
Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not explicitly cover hurricane-related damage. While a homeowner’s policy may include water damage from wind-driven rain, most will not include flood coverage or wind-related damage coverage, even if you live in an area where hurricanes are common. For wind-related damage, you can add an endorsement onto your current homeowner’s policy (with a separate deductible), or add a separate windstorm and hail policy. Usually, you’ll need to invest in a separate flood policy. The price of flood insurance is determined by location, risk, the age of your home, the amount of coverage desired, and the deductible amount. FEMA has multiple flood risk designations. These designations are based on historical data and percentages for any given area. In high-risk areas, flood insurance is usually mandatory.
However, flood insurance does not cover sewage backups, which are a possibility when major storms hit and flooding occurs. For this reason, sewage backup insurance is recommended for those who live in hurricane-prone areas.
In addition to not covering wind and flood damage, your homeowner’s policy may not have enough coverage for you to rebuild your home in the event of a major hurricane. When reevaluating your policy limit, have a clear estimate of how much money would be required to fully rebuild your house, as this isn’t always the market price. If your home were to be destroyed, would you have enough to replicate the entire house again? If not, you might want to adjust your policy limit.
Obviously, hurricane insurance is the best protection in the event of a hurricane. The reason for this is because deductibles on windstorm policies most often do not apply to hurricanes, and vice versa. The standard trigger for a hurricane insurance deductible is usually when the National Hurricane Center (or NOAA or U.S. National Weather Service) names a storm. Hurricane deductibles are usually a percentage, instead of a dollar amount.
Even within your hurricane, sewage backup, and flooding insurance, you should read each agreement carefully to determine exclusions. Exclusions are events in which a policy no longer applies or for which a claim could be denied. Exclusions exist to protect the insurance company, but you need to ensure your needs are being met as well.
If you’ve run through the voluntary market of options in your state, certain states have FAIR (Fair Access to Insurance Requirements) plans and Beach plans. These are most commonly found in states where hurricane/flood insurance is mandatory and in coastal areas. Certain states might also offer discounts on insurance to incentivize homeowners to take steps to lessen potential hurricane damage, such as roof bracing, roof covering, and increasing roof-to-wall strength. Most of these alterations are inherent in a home’s design and are more easily incorporated before the home is built, but there are a few alterations which can be applied to an existing structure. Check with your private insurance company to find out if these incentives exist in your state.
In the event of a hurricane or a flood, it’s not just your home which needs protection. Personal items can also be damaged by water or swept away by wind. Couches, televisions, beds, jewelry--everything which will need to be replaced also needs to be covered. Start by creating a full inventory of your home’s possessions. This may seem like a daunting task to begin with, but take this room by room. You’ll want to keep documentation of each item you would like to be covered and their corresponding value. Having this after a hurricane will make the claims process a breeze and help you get your items replaced faster!
Hurricanes can leave families displaced for weeks and even months. To offset the cost of rent, food, and other expenses, additional living expenses (ALE) coverage is necessary. Ordinarily, these policy limits are set at 20% of the insurance coverage of your home. If you live in an expensive, hurricane-prone area, you may want to seek a higher ALE limit. ALE also covers loss of rental income, to protect landlords in the event of hurricane damage to their rental property.
After a hurricane, there may be individuals looking to take advantage of people’s desperation. If you are seeking repairs on a damaged portion of your property, make sure you shop around for multiple quotes before signing anything. Always ask for references. Ultimately, any agreement made should be in writing and should not have any blank sections in which a contractor could later add something.
If you notice a new named storm heading for your property, it’s probably too late to invest in hurricane insurance. Most policies have a 30-day waiting period (although some do not). However, you should still invest in hurricane insurance to be prepared for next time!
Protect yourself from wind and water damage before the next unexpected hurricane forms. Just as you would batten your hatches, board up your windows, and fill your tub with water--so too should you adequately prepare for the aftermath. Hurricane insurance exists to help people return to normal after storms have flipped their lives upside down. Our condolences go out to everyone affected by Hurricane Ida and we hope you’ll take time to protect your home and possessions from the storms which may follow in its wake.
If you still need help finding the right insurance policy for your needs, reach out to us! Everyone here at Abri Insurance is eager to assist you in your search for the best coverage. Come back here to read the latest news and discover more about how to make the insurance industry work for you! Thanks for reading! Until next time!
While it might not be the best time to be out on the water in this damp and cool weather, it is the perfect time to prepare for when you can be! Today we are going to be talking about the truth behind your boat insurance!
Dreaming of warmer days and spending hours back on your boat? Or have you not stopped spending days on your boat regardless of the weather? Nothing a few layers can't help with, right? Regardless if your boat is currently tucked gently away in storage or hasn't missed a Saturday out, having the proper coverage and insurance is incredibly important. It is so important that we want to dedicate a whole blog about how to have the best boat insurance to enjoy life in the Lowcountry, and to help keep you safe on and off land!
What Do You Need To Know About Boat Insurance?
What Does Boat Insurance Cover?
Basic boat insurance will offer its owner a certain amount of protection, but adding on more coverage can be your best route of action. Let's begin by talking about what your basic boat insurance policies will cover.
What Are Some Common Boat Insurance Myths?
Owning a boat is a huge responsibility but it will provide hours of fun and entertainment, and for all of our fishermen and shrimpers, a boat can help your business be very lucrative. We hope this information clears up any confusion or concern you have about your boating insurance. If you are still confused or have any more questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. We are here to provide the best boat insurance in Charleston! We're Abri Insurance and we are here to make sure you have the best coverage for life in the Lowcountry!
It's the new year, and it's time to start fresh. To make the most out of your insurance plans this year, here is our insurance checklist for 2021!
Hello readers, and welcome back to the blog! Goodness, it's 2021 already! As much as we were happy to see 2020 go, it's a little wild to think how quickly last year seemed to fly by! From all of us at Abri, we want to wish you a very happy and healthy new year! A new year is so exciting, it means growth, change, and adventure. You might buy a new home, a new car, get married, retire, or finally get the opportunity to take that trip you've been planning for years! We will be here for all of your insurance needs, changes, and upgrades to help support and care for you and your loved ones this year. A new year, in its harsh reality, also means that there is the opportunity to face bad weather, unexpected illness and injury, accidents, and much more. We will also be here to help you with all of your insurance needs to cover and care for all of these situations to keep you and your family as safe and protected as possible!
A new year also means making the most out of each of your insurance plans, and we want to make sure you're getting the most out of what you're paying for every month. To do that, we've created our very own insurance checklist for 2021. We ended 2020 with an end of the year checklist, and now we are kicking off 2021 with a checklist to make this the best year yet!
These are just ten easy steps and ideas to put on your 2021 new year's checklist. They don't even include trips to the gym or cutting carbs! You can even schedule an appointment with us at Abri to make sure all of your insurance policies for your life here in Charleston, South Carolina are all in perfect order. All of us here at Abri want to make sure you have the healthiest and safest new year. So please take this checklist to heart, and please reach out to us right away if you need to change or update your policy in any way. It's better to be prepared now at the beginning of the year before anything happens over the next 12 months ahead of us. We're Abri Insurance and we are here to make sure you have the best coverage for life in the Lowcountry!
The joy of fall can be tainted by the threat that hurricane season is still with us until November 1st. Make sure your home and your family are prepared and insured for anything that could happen.
Hurricanes and the Lowcountry go together like a day at the beach and a potential sunburn. No matter how much we love living here, there are just a few things that come with the territory. Hurricanes, flooding, and tropical storms are just some of the potentially dangerous, scary, and everyday threats we have to live with. It's the price to pay for living in one of the most beautiful places in the southeast. No matter if you're new to Lowcountry or not, you always need to make sure you're prepared for anything. Your home needs to be safe and secured, your evacuation plan needs to be established, and your insurance needs to be ready to support your home and property through what ever damage these storms could bring. According to Forbes, NOAA updated its 2020 storm prediction to upwards of 13 to 19 storms, already reaching 9 named storms by August of this year. In the past that many storms didn't appear until October. Over 60 million people are living right in the hot spot for these storms, and South Carolina is apart of that. Even if you aren't currently insured for the damages a hurricane can bring there is no better time than now to get started.
How does your insurance plan stand up to all of these requirements, needs, and reminders? Are you ready for hurricane season and what's left of it? If not, please don't panic. We are just a phone call away and are here to help you get protected and covered. We are excited to work with you and love being a part of the Summerville community!
We are Abri
We've created this blog to keep our customers and others in the know. When it comes to insurance and keeping people safe, no knowledge should be off limits.