Insurance Tips for Hurricane Season - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/01/05

Insurance Tips for Hurricane Season

When you talk hurricanes, you've got to talk about insurance. It's one of the most important ways to prepare for potential damage. A lot of people don't think about shoring up their insurance until a hurricane actually looks like it might head this way, and that's too late.

Dan Denney of Bluffton already has a generator ready, just in case. But more importantly, he's also already talked with his insurance agent and made sure everything's taken care of.

"I was talking to different people and I was amazed at how many people said, 'Oh yeah, I've got to get around to doing that,' that haven't done it yet," Denney told us. "So I wanted to make sure I got it done."

Emergency management and insurance agents say Denney's doing it right.

"Whether you're in Hilton Head, Beaufort, Savannah or Claxton, Georgia, the basic premise is, if a hurricane's coming, grab your legal documents, review them, put them in a safe spot," noted insurance agent Mitchell Bush.

Bush says nowadays people need to look carefully at what kind of coverage they have. Replacement cost coverage used to be standard, but with billions of dollars lost in Florida last season, a lot of companies don't include it unless you request it.

In Bush's words, "you could be left holding the bag."

Bush says that type of coverage is especially important in older homes, since without it, insurance adjusters would factor in depreciation, which could cost thousands.

One other thing to remember is that flood insurance is separate from hurricane insurance, and takes 30 days to go into effect if you don't have a mortgage. Also, you should store all your insurance information in a safe place and make sure other family members know where to get to it.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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