Hurricane Season and Insurance

June marks the beginning of Hurricane season in Florida. Northeast Florida says a little prayer every year that we will be spared and so far we have been.

Surveys show only half of us are ready for Hurricane Season stocked with supplies. Last year the state legislature decided to end the Hurricane Sales Tax Holiday that saves us all money when we buy bottled water, flashlight batteries, and canned goods and gets us in the spirit of preparedness.

Last year there were 16 named storms and five major hurricanes between June 1 and November 30th.

This year, forecasters say that there could be nine to 14 tropical storms and up to seven hurricanes with a few major ones among the group, which is normal.

Emergency preparation plans are in place to turn all of I-10 into a westerly direction, away from the east coast of Jacksonville, to allow traffic to leave the coastal areas quickly. Everyone will have to be especially conscientious to make that happens safely so that Jacksonville car accidents don’t happen at all or are at least limited, and we can do that.

Besides supplies, also keep ice chests, portable radios, TVs and generators accessible. Figure out where you pets can go and how long a lead time you would need to safely leave town before the rush. Of course, have a plan on where you will go, or if you plan to stay, know where the nearest safe shelter is located.

Following Hurricane Katrina there were lots of lessons on how insurance works or doesn’t work and the additional policies you need for wind and flood damage. Now we have to assume that the state, which writes much of the hurricane insurance after the industry pulled out, has enough money in case we aren’t lucky this time around.

The state’s insurance industry warns there is about a $12 billion shortfall in the fund which provides money for claims if the maximum is required. Most consumers don’t realize that the insurance industry is heavily invested and when the markets go down, so do their profits.

Some insurance companies suspend writing new policies when a storm is brewing, so know what you have now. Renters may need flood insurance in Florida in addition to the landlord to cover water damage.

Just last month, Gov. Charlie Crist said that the property insurance rates will go up by ten percent for more than one million customers of the state’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Higher rates were expected if lawmakers didn’t agree to the 10 percent increase.

At Farah and Farah, or Florida hurricane dispute attorneys are well versed in all areas of flood insurance and windstorm coverage for your home. We are dedicated to helping victims of hurricanes move on by holding insurance companies to their word and getting our clients the compensation they deserve under their policy. Contact Farah and Farah for a case evaluation today.