PIA, III Warn on Approaching Hurricane Season

Both the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) and the Insurance Information Institute (III) have issued bulletins warning homeowners and businesses to prepare for an active hurricane season.

According to forecasters estimates this summer and fall, “the hurricane season,” promises to be especially active with the III noting predictions of between “nine to thirteen tropical storms, with six to eight hurricanes, and two to three classified as major hurricanes (category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale),” for 2002.

“It is therefore more important than ever for consumers to protect their homes, businesses and autos from the ravages of Mother Nature,” said the III announcement, which also noted the early appearance of “Hurricane Alma, located about 595 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.”

The normally prudent people at the III may have been a little rushed by Alma’s early arrival, as they described the storm as “the first of seven hurricanes predicted to form in the Atlantic in 2002.” Unless there’s been some recent major continental realignment, Cabo San Lucas is still firmly anchored at the end of the Baja California peninsula in the Pacific ocean.

The PIA listed its “Top 10 Claims Filing Tips” for the hurricane season, reminding people to, among other precautions,.”take all steps necessary to prevent further damage;” prepare lists of damages, and be aware of the waiting periods involved in getting an adjustor to the site, and settling claims.

The announcement also reviewed what’s commonly covered by homeowners and business policies, and what’s not. It noted that “additional living expenses” are normally reimbursed if a dwelling is uninhabitable, while spoiled food, etc. from power outages normally isn’t covered, and that damages from tress are covered only when they cause some kind of damage to other wise insured property.

The PIA also discussed the various definitions of coverage, and warned that in many cases homeowners may be underinsured, and should review their policies frequently with the advice of their insurance agent.