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Hurricane Season 2018: How to Protect Your Property

National Hurricane Preparedness Week: May 6-12

Columbus, OH - The wrath of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season showed us all just how much damage these massive storms can create. To help ease some of the stress if and when a hurricane or tropical storm hits, Nationwide wants to protect its members.

Data shows that the cost of damage caused by hurricanes and tropical storms has increased during the 10-year period between 2007-2017. According to Property Claim Services® (PCS®), a Verisk Analytics business, from 2007-2017, nearly 8 million claims related to hurricanes and tropical storms were filed, with the total estimated insured loss exceeding $100 billion. In 2017 alone, the damage costs related to hurricanes in the United States and its territories exceeded $60 billion, not including National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy claims.

The National Weather Service (NWS) kicks off its Hurricane Preparedness Week May 6-12. During this critical safety-awareness week, Nationwide urges property owners to review their insurance policies, prepare an emergency kit, trim shrubs and trees and identify a safe place to take shelter when a storm hits.

“The damage that these powerful storms produce is a reminder of how we all must do everything we can to protect what’s most important to us,” said Ken Enscoe, Senior Claims Director for Nationwide’s Catastrophe Operations. “It's crucial for policyholders to know about their insurance coverage before a storm hits.

“Advance planning is key to reducing the risk and mitigating the loss hurricanes can create.”

According to the National Hurricane Center, the hurricane season in the eastern North Pacific runs from May 15-Nov. 30. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1-Nov. 30.

Homeowners should consider doing what they can to protect their home and property from hurricanes and tropical storms. Policyholders can take the following steps in preparation for hurricane season or when a storm is approaching.

  • Examine your property. Before an event, examine your property to ensure there are no physical and/or liability hazards present.
  • Protect vulnerable areas of your home. Protect the four critical areas where wind and water can enter: roof, windows, doors and garage doors.
  • Protect valuables. Protect mementos, photos, etc., in waterproof containers and/or take the items with you if you evacuate (other household items can be replaced).
  • Review your policy and talk to your agent. Read and understand your insurance policy. Be sure you have adequate homeowner and auto coverage and that the deductibles you have selected are reasonable for your needs.
    • If you have expensive or specialty items (i.e. jewelry, furs, silverware, cameras, collectibles, etc.) speak with your agent about broader coverage since these items have limited coverage under the terms of your homeowners’ policy. Additional premium will be required for this increase in coverage.
  • Take inventory of contents in your home. Inventory valuables and contents in the home with pictures or video. Note the approximate value of each item and the date of purchase. You can also send an inventory list to a family member outside your region for safekeeping.
  • Copy and secure important documents. Make sure important documents, such as an insurance policy or mortgage papers, are stored in a safe deposit or fire safe box.

These tips are provided by Nationwide.

During this hurricane season, Nationwide’s claim representatives and agents are prepared to help our members. Homeowners’ and auto policyholders can call the company’s claims hotline, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – 1-800-421-3535. They can also file claims at Nationwide’s online claim center.

For more tips on how to protect your family and property, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website for hurricane preparedness.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.