Frequently Asked Questions
How to make Hurricane Insurance Plans
Q: Fletcher, what do you tell people about hurricanes and hurricane coverage? Not only for locals but for people who live out of town and own property here.
A: Hurricanes are serious business. Nothing breaks my heart more than when people call me to request additional coverage as a hurricane is approaching, just to discover that I do not have binding authority. Insurance companies halt our binding authority when a tropical storm is 1000 miles out at sea, just north of the Virgin Islands. So before a storm even threatens I tell people this:
- Plan for hurricanes when the weather is calm and you can think clearly.
- Make sure all of your policies provide full-replacement cost coverage for your building and its contents.
- Make sure that your mortgage clauses are up to date.
- Ask yourself, "Do I have flood and wind insurance?"
- Consider flood insurance. There is a 30-day waiting period so you need to make those plans now. Just a few inches of water can cost you thousands of dollars. Make sure you have enough coverage to fully replace your structure if it is destroyed by a flood.
- Contact us or your insurance agent so we can discuss ways that we can upgrade cover prior to hurricane season. You cannot purchase additional coverage when the storm has been sighted and waters are rising but you can plan for it in advance.
- We want our customers to have peace of mind throughout the year.
What to do When a Hurricane has been Issued
Q: What should I do when a hurricane threatens our area? What do the locals do?
A: It is good to know the terms weather forecasters use. Hurricane "watch" means a hurricane is possible within 36 hours, stay tuned for additional advisories. Hurricane "warning" means that a hurricane is expected within 24 hours. If they advise evacuation, do so immediately. Nothing is more valuable than you life or the lives of your family.
- Learn evacuation routes.
- Talk to your family about places to meet.
- Be prepared to survive for 3 days on your own.
- Get your family and your house ready.
Cut the grass, throw the lawn furniture in the pool, and make a big pot of soup! Oh, and fill the tub up with water! Really!
If you cut your lawn before the hurricane, it will be easier to clean up the debris.
Tie down your lawn furniture, but, if you have a pool and are short on time, throw it in the pool! It is safe there and you can retrieve it after the storm.
You never know if you are going to have power so go to an ATM machine for extra cash.
Get a few important supplies from the store and make a big pot soup. When we know a storm is coming Linda is right there in the kitchen getting the soup ready.
Make sure that you have large plastic trash cans on hand. Fill one for drinking water, one to flush the toilet and one for washing. Some people clean their bathtubs and then fill them with water.
Fill a bag with a deck of cards, a board game and even paper and crayons for the young and young at heart.
Here are more things you should do:
- Know how to shut off your utilities; the power might be out for several days.
- Make sure you have your drivers license because the police will be keeping "sightseers" out of our neighborhoods.
- Gather your medications. Do you have enough for a few days? Keep them in a plastic bag safely away from children.
- Assemble a disaster kit that includes a battery powered radio, flashlights, extra batteries, first aid kit, blankets, clothing, food and water.
- Moor your boat.
- Consider booking a room in a nearby town. If you have pets check out pet-friendly hotels.
- Gather important papers and special photos.
- Take a video or photos of your property.
- Buy some plywood and board up your windows.
Q: What if I decide to remain on the Outer Banks during the storm?
A: My best advice is to stay inside. Hurricanes are serious business. Weather forecasters can only predict so much, so educate yourself and stay on top of weather updates!
What to do After a Hurricane
Q: The hurricane is over, what should I do now?
A: I suggest the following:
- Stay away from flooded areas.
- Drive only when necessary.
- Look out for fallen power lines.
- Contact your insurance agent.
- Separate damaged and undamaged belongings.
- Make a list of the damaged contents of your house and photograph the damage.
- Make a list of the structural damage on the house or building.
- Keep records of clean-up costs.
Q: What should I do if there is damage and I need to make a claim?
A: Here is a list of important steps to file a claim:
- Check your policy and read it. Look at your claims handbook, this is your owners manual.
- Report your loss.
- Provide any and all of the information the insurances company needs.
- Respond promptly to their phone calls.
- Save all the documentation.
- Make sure you get a business card from the adjuster (This is very important!).
- Sign the proof of loss and send it to the adjuster right away.
- Report flood and windstorm damage.
- Plan an emergency contact; you might not be able to be in your home and your cell service might be out.
Call us we are here to help! The Willey Agency,(252) 480-4600.