The Atlantic hurricane season extends from June 1 to November 30. The Pacific hurricane season runs May 15 to November 30. What is in store this year and how can you prepare?
What is in store this hurricane season?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center is predicting that a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year. This outlook forecasts a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season, and a 30% chance of a below-normal season. The hurricane season officially extends from June 1 to November 30.
For 2019, NOAA predicts a likely range of 9 to 15 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 4 to 8 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.
What is a hurricane?
Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over warm ocean waters and move toward land. Hurricanes can cause tremendous damage. Winds can exceed 155 miles per hour. Hurricanes and tropical storms can also spawn tornadoes and lead to flooding. The high winds and heavy rains can destroy buildings, roads and bridges, and knock down power lines and trees. In coastal areas, very high tides called storm surges cause extensive damage.
- Can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.
- Can affect areas more than 100 miles inland.
- Are most active in September.
How can you prepare?
Although there are no guarantees of safety during a hurricane, you can take actions to protect yourself. You should have a disaster plan. Being prepared can help reduce fear, anxiety, and losses. If you do experience a disaster, it is normal to feel stressed. You may need help in finding ways to cope.
Are damages caused by hurricanes covered by insurance?
Hurricane insurance is a little tricky. Most homeowners’ policies cover damage caused by windstorms, hurricanes, and hail, but insurance companies may exclude this coverage in some areas. Standard homeowners’ policies protect you from virtually all types of damage a hurricane can inflict, except for flood or rising water damage.
Even so, many homeowner policies have special deductibles for hurricane damage that are separate from the general deductible for other damages. While the general deductible is likely set at a dollar amount, the deductible for hurricane damage is often set as a percent of the hurricane costs. It’s usually around 3%, although it can run as high as 5% of the damage costs.
Any hurricane damage from water (not wind and rain) is covered by flood insurance, which must be purchased separately through the federally run National Flood Insurance Program. If your property is included in a flood zone, your mortgage company will more than likely require you to purchase flood insurance. Sometime in the next year, the flood zone map will be changing for Sumter County. Please visit the GIS website to find out if your property will be affected.
CMR & Associates will provide you with a no-cost service by reviewing your current insurance coverage to make sure that your coverage is adequate and affordable. If you currently do not have insurance, we can assist you in finding the appropriate coverage at an affordable rate. Please email CMR Associates or call 877-447-4301 or 212-447-4300 for more information.
About CMR: CMR & Associates provides independent insurance advice by reviewing your current Property/Casualty insurance or Group Benefits to improve coverage and reduce cost. Through our proprietary database – The CMR Database® (comprised of some 13,000 brokers nationwide) – we maximize access to the commercial insurance industry for greater options that will translate to better coverage and lower cost. Since 1999, we have saved clients over $120 million.