Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene - 8-27-11- Morning Reflections

The heavy rains have already started and woke me during the night. The boyfriend had to go out into it to move the Expedition up the street to friends' home on higher ground. This morning we have to complete preparing the first floor for the possible failure of the flood doors to keep all the water out in the event we get the storm surge being predicted. That means moving everything out of the lower shelves of the pantry closets, the lower kitchen cabinets, a closet where the boyfriend a/k/a "Martha Stewart" keeps his candle sticks, large platters and other items to make him a fabulous dinner party host. Likewise emptying the lower two shelves of the three floor to ceiling china cabinets. Despite all these efforts, we hope that the worse will not happen.

One thing that local readers need to check out is their hurricane deductibles on their home owners policies. Deductibles can range from 1 to 5% of the policy's face value. It can be a shocker and could leave many with a significant out of pocket outlay should they experience major damage. One other note, if you have damage, call your insurance agent - not your attorney. All I can do is tell you, call your insurance company! Here are some highlights from a Virginian Pilot piece on this issue:

Hurricane damage could cost you more these days, thanks to hurricane and windstorm deductibles that have become part of most policies in Hampton Roads and coastal North Carolina.

They require a homeowner to pay for part of any hurricane damage before their regular coverage kicks in. The deductibles typically range from 1 to 5 percent of a home's insured value. If a home has $200,000 of coverage and a windstorm or hurricane deductible of 5 percent, a policyholder must pay for the first $10,000 of the claim.

"Families will have to dig deeper into their pockets because insurers have been steadily increasing hurricane wind coverage deductibles and imposing other policy limitations," J. Robert Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, said in a statement.

"Once your claim is reported, be sure to get your claim number and write it down," Hunter said. Also, start a notebook to document your contacts with the insurance company with the date, time and a brief description of the exchange, he said.

Several insurers, including State Farm, Nationwide, Allstate and USAA, have already notified policyholders with automated phone messages and email of ways to file any hurricane-related claims. USAA, which provides homeowners and auto coverage to members of the military, military retirees and their family members, is encouraging its policyholders to file claims via their mobile devices.

Again, thank you to readers who have been following events. The blog is setting records in terms of traffic. Knowing you all are out there is comforting. Sounds crazy, I know, but its true.

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