Tag Archives: Insurance

Hurricane Season Reminders

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By Dawne Richards

Whew, it’s August!  As of this writing, we’ve been spared any major hurricanes in our neck of the woods.  Those of us here in 2005 certainly remember Hurricane Wilma.  As is often the case when such events strike, we were in awe both of the physical effects (cars resting on their roofs in some of the oceanfront condo parking lots) and the incredible warmth and generosity of the community.  We were particularly impressed by the legions of restaurants who, faced with all manner of delicious eats which had to be shared before they went to waste, threw open their hearts and doors and fed their neighbors, often for free.  We probably ate better in the aftermath of Wilma than anytime before that.

Despite those fond memories, we sincerely hope that we get through the 2011 hurricane season unscathed. However, if we find ourselves in the path of a storm, remember the most important advice:  Prepare, prepare, prepare.

If you’re a longtime resident, perhaps you’ve gotten complacent.  If you’re a more recent arrival, you may be wondering how prepared you need to be.  A great place to start your preparations is the City’s “Weathering the Storm Together” page, which has great local information as well as many links to additional resources, including a link to the Broward County Evacuation Map along with close-by shelters, including information about pet-friendly shelters. This page is updated regularly.

For Pompano Beach, our mandatory evacuation zones* are as follows:

Category 1 and 2:
East of the Intracoastal Waterway and all mobile home parks

Category 3 or Higher:
East of US 1 (Federal Highway) and all mobile home parks

For more information on evacuation zones, please call 954-831-4000.  Also, those persons located in low lying areas or beside tidal bodies of water should seek shelter elsewhere if conditions warrant.

*A word about mandatory evacuation zones:  Take these seriously!  After the storm, it is possible, even likely, that Emergency Services will be unable to get to you should you need help.

And, last but most certainly not least, what about insurance?  Here’s some great advice from Ed Phillips of PF Insurance:

  • Put your policies away in a safe place.  If at all possible, find a place where the policies will be accessible to you after the storm.
  • Your best bet may be to save your policies online.  In the event of a flood or a fire, the policies are usually soaked or burned up.
  • Be sure you’ve got your agent’s phone number (a cell number is preferable; your agent’s business landline may be down after the storm).
  • Ask your agent ahead of time for the Claims Department phone number.  That way if you can’t get ahold of your agent, you can still get in touch with the insurance company and you won’t have to be scrambling to find the number.

Here’s hoping we all get through the 2011 hurricane season without needing any of this information!

Insurance and Catastrophes: It’s Shaping Up to be a Record Year

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More Than $50 Billion in Catastrophe Losses So Far This Year

With tornadoes, floods, storms, and five weather disasters hitting the United States already this year, the nation is on track for setting a modern record for the most high-cost weather events early in the year. Each of the five events has cost more than $1 billion because they have hit highly populated areas and caused severe damages. While the damages are concentrated in certain regions, they could impact others across the nation by increasing insurance costs and depleting taxpayer-supported disaster-relief funds.

But that’s just the cost of disasters in the United States. Add in earthquakes, floods and tsunamis worldwide, and the price tag soars. Lloyds of London reported that its insurance markets face claims totaling $3.8 billion. And the industry as a whole stands to lose more than $50 billion for the first four months of this year, including the cost of the tornadoes that swept across the U.S. in April, according to one insurer’s estimate.

EQECAT Inc. reported that estimated insured losses from the March 11 earthquake in Japan would be between $22 billion and $39 billion, up from the initial estimate of $12 billion to $25 billion. The revised forecast accounts for disruptions caused by the Fukushima nuclear power plant’s radiation leakage and other factors.

“In the light of the more than $50 billion in natural catastrophe losses incurred since the beginning of this year – including the damage from tornadoes in the US in April – combined with the prolonged low investment return environment, it would be totally appropriate for rates to increase on a widespread basis,” said Stephen Catlin, chief executive of Lloyd’s syndicate insurer Catlin.

This information contributed by the the Professional Insurance Agents of Florida, courtesy of Ed Phillips.