Hurricane Preparation in the Time of COVID-19

Not to be outdone by the COVID-19 pandemic, the hurricane season of 2020 is forecasted to be a doozy. The season begins June 1, and early prediction models warn of 16 potential storms featuring tropical-strength winds. Among these, eight have the potential for U.S. landfall. It’s always important to prepare for hurricane season. How will COVID-19 make this one different?

Hint: extra face masks are advised, but that’s just the beginning. Read below as we examine some of the extra precautions you and your family should take in order to ensure you are safe from both storm and pandemic this hurricane season.

Proper hurricane prep in the time of COVID-19 looks like this:

  • An updated emergency preparedness kit. FEMA recommends hand sanitizer, two cloth face coverings for each person, soap, disinfecting wipes and other disinfecting agents. Add those to the standard hurricane kit suggestions shared here.
  • Your regularly advised shelter may be deemed too close-for-comfort, so check the evacuation plan your city has released long before that cone of uncertainty shows up on the radar. If you do end up at a shelter, maintain 6 feet of space between others.
  • Does your family know the emergency plan? If not, it’s time to share it. You can make your household’s hurricane plan here and avoid last-minute ‘What should we do…where should we go?’ decisions. Find a template here.
  • If you choose to opt for storm coverage, do it now. It’s too late to opt for coverage once the hurricane forms over the Atlantic. At that moment, you’ll want to know that you have all the safeguards in place to keep you and your family safe, COVID-19 or not. Consider that insurance coverage is just one more vital piece of your hurricane preparedness plan.

Contact the advisors at W3 Insurance for guidance regarding storm coverage. You’ll receive advice regarding the different types of coverage you can consider, and information about what happens if a named storm does head your way. For both homeowners and boat owners, this coverage is a blessing in a time of peril.

So how does hurricane preparation during the time of COVID-19 really vary from years before? Mainly, it’s important to practice social distancing guidelines and sanitize as much as possible. This year, showing up at a shelter does not earn you a proverbial ‘gold star’ for hurricane preparedness. Today, as never before, we must all look to further measures to keep us healthy.

Homeowners Insurance and Hurricanes: What Is (and Isn’t) Covered

home with approaching hurricane

Hurricane insurance coverage is as vital to the Florida homeowner as storm shutters that withstand gale-force winds. Those sandbags, batteries, and shutters are must-haves in the emergency preparedness kit, but hurricane insurance coverage alone possesses the power of rebuild. If the worst happens, and that storm demolishes a home, the right coverage can make all the difference. Here’s what to expect as you consider coverage options:

Florida Hurricane Insurance Requirements

It may surprise you to learn that many homeowners policies consider coverage for hurricanes to be standard. However, as a Floridian, beware: a separate windstorm deductible applies to covered losses. When one speaks of ‘hurricane coverage,’ that is actually what they are referring to – the combination of coverages that add up to full protection. This a la carte coverage aspect means that it is important to talk with an insurance professional before choosing coverage. Whatever policy you select, know that the best options cover both the exterior of the home as well as the contents. That takes into account those valuables you hold dear.

Hurricane Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance

If a tree pushes a divot through your rooftop or the windows shatter (where were those shutters when you needed them)? Your homeowners insurance should cover the damage. Remember, though, that some areas require an extra oomph of coverage––whether that be through increased contents coverage or a replacement-cost endorsement for your contents. This provides you the money to replace your damaged or destroyed possessions with the same, or similarly valued, items.

Possible Damage Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance

Even though hurricanes often bring flooding along for the trip, homeowners insurance does not cover damage from rising surface water. Mold is also not covered by homeowners insurance unless it was added by endorsement and the result of a covered loss. Excess moisture in the air can cause mold, and this is a very real concern when a hurricane hits. 

Flood Damage (Even Resulting from a Hurricane) is Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance

You read that correctly. Even though it’s rather counterintuitive, flood insurance is a completely different coverage. Living in Florida, with shrinking shorelines and neighborhoods surrounded by water, it’s essential for your total home protection to elect for flood insurance.

If a hurricane results in flooding, those who elected to purchase flood insurance can rest easy knowing their home and property will be protected.

Every Florida Home Should Have Flood Insurance

We can’t drive this home enough. Did you know that it doesn’t take a major storm for flooding to occur? Homeowners who state that they don’t need flood insurance because they don’t live in a flood zone miss the mark. In Florida, we know that when it rains, it pours. Heavy Florida showers present a very real flood risk.

Protect yourself. Prepare your home against hurricanes and know what your policy covers. Speak with one of our experienced advisors long before that storm system appears on the radar. We will break down the intricacies of insurance and make sure you understand what you’re paying for. We’re here to help you weather the storm.

Get a Quote