Hurricanes are very unpredictable and the predicted paths can change, but this does not mean we should not prepare for the worse. Fortunately it looks like our area is going to be spared from the brunt of the storm but a big impact of this storm is the potential for up to 30 inches of rain for the south. Hopefully things change and the storm is not as potent as it is predicted. This is hurricane season and there are two more storms following Florence and many times these storms reach us as tropical storms with a lot of rain and wind.
This summer has been one of the wettest on record for our area. The ground is saturated which means even a small amount of additional rain becomes a problem. Make sure you make preparations now:
• Inspect your roof, flashing and siding. Replace your roof or flashing if it is old and worn.
• Prepare your basement before flooding occurs. Raise items stored in the basement, make sure your sump pump has a battery backup, and think twice before making your basement a living area.
• Landscape your home to help absorb water and keep water away from your home.
• Check your gutters and downspouts to make sure they are not clogged.
• If you have a storm drain on the street near your home make sure it is clear of debris so the water can flow into the storm drain. Rake up leaves and other debris that may be clogging the storm drain.
• When you have a loss make sure you correct the problem that caused the loss so it does not happen to you again.
Most of us are in preferred flood zones but you should still consider the purchase of flood insurance. Rates are less expensive in preferred flood areas. That small dried up creek can rise quickly causing water to run through your property. Buying flood insurance now won’t help you with Florence as there is a 30 day waiting period but there are more storms in the future. You hear it all the time after an area floods “I have been living her for over 50 years and my home never had flooding before.” Don’t be the one that will say this to the reporter.
Keep in mind that when our area receives a storm watch or warning most of our insurance carriers will put a moratorium on our binding authority which means we may not be able to offer you insurance. Some tips:
• If you are making settlement on a home during a potential storm make sure the policy is issued now or delay settlement if possible until after the storm.
• If you are planning on picking up a new car I would suggest you wait until after the storm so your new car does not flood or get damaged by a tree reducing its value. Wait to take possession of the new car until after the storm leaves the area.
• Be aware of where you park your car during a storm to avoid flood and trees.
• Put your valuables on a separate inland marine policy. Many of these policies cover flood damage.
• Make sure you have enough water back-up coverage on your homeowner’s policy.
Even if you have the proper coverage claims are still a hassle. You still need to clean up and fix what is broken. So take some time to prepare and avoid possible claims. As always our staff at Spencer Insurance Agency is here to assist you with any claims you do have. Call us at 215-885-2200 to report a claim, review coverage or purchase flood insurance. Our website is also available 24 hours a day and has phone numbers for all our companies to report claims directly. Expect some delays as the volume of claim calls increases dramatically when a hurricane hits the United States.
Let’s hope for the best but prepare for the worse!