JACKSONVILLE, FLA. — Atlantic Hurricane Season will be here June 1, and forecasters are predicting 17 named storms; eight are expected to reach hurricane status. Brightway Insurance, one of the country’s largest Personal Lines insurance agencies, is helping consumers get ready now so they’re prepared before a massive storm arrives.
“Our customers trust us to be here when they need us most, and that’s our commitment to them,” said Brightway President and CEO, Michael Miller.
Brightway offers four tips to everyone living in hurricane-prone areas.
Review and store important documents
Review your Homeowners insurance policy to ensure you have enough coverage to rebuild and replace your home and property in the event of a loss. This is especially important if you have renovated or added on to your home. Contact your Agent if you want to do an insurance check up to make sure your policy fully protects what you have worked so hard to earn. If you don’t have an Agent, you can click here to find an agent.
Print and store important insurance information and documents in a plastic zip bag so you have it ready to go if you are asked to evacuate. Another option is to store documents on an external drive or in secure cloud storage.
Policy details you will want to have on hand are:
- Policy number
- Name of the insurance company with which your policy is written
- Telephone number to report a claim
- Website to report a claim
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, provides recommendations on preparing documents in this Emergency Financial Preparedness toolkit.
Protect yourself against flood risk
Standard Homeowners policies do not cover flooding. Your Homeowners policy probably covers water damage from household mishaps including a burst pipe, sump or sewer backup or an overflowing bathtub.
Flood insurance is the only way to get coverage against a coastal storm surge, a river overflowing its banks, failure of a dam or levee or any other weather-related event. That coverage is provided by the National Flood Insurance Program and through insurance companies.
NFIP’s website, FloodSmart.gov, can help you understand your flood risk. The website provides a mapping tool you can use to understand if your property is in a high-risk area.
While Flood insurance protects your home, check your Auto insurance policy to make sure you have Comprehensive coverage, which covers flooding of your vehicle.
Prepare your home
Look at your home to determine risks and take action now to mitigate those risks by doing things such as:
- Removing dead tree limbs, clearing drains and gutters and checking the roof for loose shingles
- Checking your property for loose or unsecured items that could become projectiles, including decorative rocks, patio furniture and grills
- Ensuring that your doors and windows are properly sealed to prevent wind and water damage
- Installing hurricane shutters if you live in a coastal or storm-prone area
Prepare your family
Develop an evacuation plan for your family and build a disaster supply kit now that will enable you to live without power or water for several days. Basics include a first aid kit, water, non-perishable food, a non-electric can opener, flashlights and batteries. A portable generator may be a good investment, too, but be sure to read the instructions to avoid electric shock. If your town provides text or email alerts about weather events, sign up to receive real-time weather and traffic updates.
Also, find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone by contacting your local government/emergency management office or by checking your local government’s website.
Visit Ready.gov for additional recommendations on how to prepare for a hurricane.
About Brightway Insurance
Brightway Insurance is a national property/casualty insurance distribution company with more than $665 million in annualized written premium, making it one of the largest Personal Lines agencies in the U.S.
Brightway’s focus is on producing Win, Win, Win outcomes for consumers by offering customized insurance solutions and for people wishing to sell insurance by providing business opportunities that span from single Agent to multi-unit enterprises. Regardless of the path taken, Brightway provides the support necessary to consistently outsell other insurance agents.
Brightway got its start in 2008 and has since grown to more than 900 people in 207 offices across 22 states serving customers in all 50 states.