Insurance, Flooding, and an El Nino Year… Are You Ready?

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Insurance, Flooding, and an El Nino Year… Are You Ready on avanteinsurance.com

82% of homeowners who live in flood zones could be victims of catastrophic losses. Are you one of them?

El Nino is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but does anyone (besides meteorologists) know what it really means? In essence, the term refers to abnormal weather patterns that occur when there is a higher level of warming in the Pacific Ocean. Events like floods, droughts, extreme thunderstorms and rain, tornadoes, and much more take place more often and at a more severe level during an El Nino year.

Right now, we’re just a few months into an El Nino year that experts predict may be the cause of lots of turbulent weather still to come. For homeowners, the effects of El Nino can be as devastating as those of a powerful hurricane, a raging tropical storm, or a blizzard depending on where you live. So it’s recommended that everyone knows what El Nino is and how it can possibly effect them and any of their assets.

It doesn’t matter where you live, the possibility of suffering adverse affects of this phenomenon are not exclusive to anyone in any particular area in the world. In fact, although the warm water stretches from South America to the Philippines, El Nino is known to have an impact on weather thousands of miles away. The key takeaway during an El Nino year is for people to be aware of what’s happening and take steps to ensure they are ready.

Make preparations ahead of time

Just like stocking up on canned goods, water, flashlights, batteries and other supplies for hurricane season, making preparations for severe weather caused by El Nino is a smart idea. Some suggestions from NOAA include putting a severe weather plan in place as well to stay tuned to the local and national weather channels for up to date information. Some other ways to get ready include:

Outside:

Trim trees and/or clear out any dead limbs that could potentially break and hit your home

Clean out rain gutters

Secure any items that are too big/heavy to bring indoors

Check your roof for any loose shingles or tiles

Inside:

Determine a safe room in your home where everyone can fit

Discuss evacuation procedures with your family and what to do with pets

Elevate any important and/or valuable items in the event of a flood

Unplug any computers or other devices that can be damaged in a power surge

Download a weather alert app for your phone or on your computer that will alert you when severe weather is threatening

Check your insurance policies

Flood

It may surprise you to know that nationally only 18% of homeowners in flood zones actually carry the required amount of flood insurance as mandated by their state. Shocking when you consider the immensity of loss that can occur in the event of a torrential rain. Even those who aren’t required to carry flood insurance should consider it. A flood policy can give you the peace of mind that if the unthinkable happens (which is one thing that El Nino can definitely cause), you’ll be covered.

Homeowner’s policy

Trees fall, objects get propelled, and lightning strikes. These are just a few of the things that can happen during severe storms caused by El Nino, and all of these are potentially hazardous to your home and everything in it. It’s a good idea to sit down with your insurance provider each year and go over what’s covered, what your limits are, and any special considerations that may need to be addressed. You can always add to your coverage or modify it to ensure that your asset has the coverage necessary to repair and/or replace any losses.

Auto Policy

Many people were caught off guard in South Florida when a recent hail storm hit with little warning. Cars that were parked outside of office buildings, in shopping centers, and other public places were hit hard. Golf ball size hail pummeled homes and cars, leaving a lot of folks with giant dents, shattered windshields, and other damages. Those that had coverage were able to avoid thousands of dollars in repairs and restore their vehicles to their pre-hail condition. Knowing just what your auto policy covers will ensure that you are protected for unforeseen events.

When it comes to the weather, there are many situations where damage to your home, auto, office and personal property is unavoidable. Preparing for events caused by El Nino can reduce your chances of major losses from damages so be sure to follow this guide and stay up to date.

If you aren’t sure what your insurance covers or you need to get coverage, get in touch with us today. We provide coverage from some of the nation’s top carriers and can customize a solution that is perfect for your needs.