For the 2019 Hurricane Season
Insurance Commissioner Andrew N. Mais is reminding policyholders to review their homeowner’s insurance and understand their coverage as the state heads into the height of the 2019 Atlantic Tropical Storm season.
“Having the right protection in place before catastrophe strikes is essential and provides peace of mind during what can be a very stressful time,” Commissioner Mais said. “Policyholders should discuss with an agent or insurance company if their current coverage is appropriate and adequate.”
In Connecticut, the peak hurricane season begins in mid-August and runs through late October. High winds, tree damage, hail and flooding from storms and runoff can bring devastating losses each year. It's important to understand how insurance policies work and what is covered, should a disaster strike.
The first hurricane of the 2019 season, Barry arrived on Louisiana’s shores with damaging winds and heavy rain. Although on average, most areas experienced 4–6 inches of rain, early estimate pricing of insured losses from Hurricane Barry will surpass $300 million, not including NFIP losses as reported in Insurance Journal. Floods are the most common and most costly natural disaster.
Homeowners, condo, and renters insurance cover most types of damage including tornado, hurricanes, severe storms, rain, wind, and fires. Damage from flooding is excluded from homeowners, condo, and renters insurance, but separate policies can be purchased from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private insurer. With peak hurricane season upon us, now is the time to purchase flood insurance as there is a 30 day waiting period before the policy takes effect.
“Another factor for those considering federal flood insurance is possible NFIP rate changes,” Commissioner Mais said. “FEMA is in the process of changing the way it prices policies, but those who already own such policies before a rate change may benefit from federal limits on annual rate increases.”
Your insurer can only cover what it knows you lost, which is why it is important to keep accurate records for filing claims in the future. Expensive items such as art, collectibles, or jewelry require additional coverage and must be appraised before getting a separate policy. You also should store your inventory record and insurer's contact information somewhere besides your house, or digitally where you can retrieve it at any time. There is also a smart phone home inventory APP to help with that.
The Department’s “Be Prepared” page offers consumers numerous resources that address the risks of the season. You can also download the CTPrepares Mobile App to receive real-time emergency notifications and public safety messages.
Preparation to safeguard property includes:
- Make an inventory of belongings
- Keep your policy and insurance contact information in a safe place
- Review your policy with your agent or company to determine what is covered – Coverage FAQs
- Understand the claims process – Tips for Making a Storm Claim
- Determine whether you are at risk for floods and would need special flood insurance – most homeowners policies do NOT cover flooding
- Email us at email@example.com
- Ask a question or file a complaint online
- Call the Consumer Helpline at 800-203-3447 or 860-297-3900.
- Sign up for e-alerts to get the latest news, warnings and rate changes that may affect your premium
- Download consumer FAQs on health, homeowner and auto coverage
- Use the Department’s Speakers Bureau for public events.
- Visit our Web site and follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube