|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2020
CONTACT: Jim Carson, Communications Director
Preparing for hurricane season during a pandemic: What’s in your ‘Go-Bag’?
Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Andrew N. Mais joined the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in asking everyone to be prepared to act if they are in the path of a hurricane. National Weather Service forecasters predict this year’s hurricane season, which officially began June 1, will be above average.
“As we focus on reopening Connecticut and recovering from the effects of COVID-19, we shouldn’t lose sight of hurricane season and doing what we can to protect our property and loved ones,” said Commissioner Mais. “Taking precautions and adequately preparing before catastrophe strikes is essential.”
Policyholders should discuss with their agent, broker or insurance company if their current insurance coverage is still appropriate and adequate, and verify that any new additions or updates have been properly reflected in the reconstruction cost and/or personal property coverages. In addition, consumers should take this time to make sure they fully understand their policy’s deductibles, including hurricane deductibles or voluntary wind deductibles.*
Commissioner Mais added that damage from flooding is excluded from homeowners, condo, and renters insurance, but separate policies can be purchased from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private insurer.
There is a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect, so now may be the time to shop for quotes as coverage, deductibles and premium costs can vary.
In case a hurricane, severe storm, flood, or other emergency forces you out of your home, here are some essential items to gather and bring with you in a go-bag:
- Cash: If the power goes out, credit cards won’t work. Keep cash on hand for replenishing supplies.
- Medications: Pharmacies might be closed, and hospitals could be overwhelmed. Keep a backup supply (at least several days’ worth) of important medications like blood pressure medicine and insulin.
- A Battery-Powered Weather Radio: If electricity is out and cell towers are down, this is your only way to know what’s happening.
- A Back-up Cell Phone Battery Charger: You may need to recharge your phone should the electricity go out.
- Important Documents: Social Security cards, passports, birth certificates, driver’s licenses and more could all be lost or destroyed in a flood. Keep copies of these documents in a waterproof container along with your home insurer’s telephone number and a copy of your flood insurance policy so you can quickly file a claim if needed.
- List of Shelters: In this time of social distancing, not all shelters are open. Be sure to make a list of shelters where you can retreat and bring a change of clothes.
- Masks and Hand Sanitizer: Should a disaster drive you out of your home and into a crowded shared space, you should have PPE supplies just in case.
- An Accurate Home Inventory: Create an inventory of your possessions every year. Without this checklist, you may forget to claim items lost due to fire or another covered event. The NAIC offers the myHOME Scr.APP.book app to capture images, descriptions, bar codes and serial numbers of personal possessions and stores the information electronically for safekeeping.
* Conn. State statute only permits a mandatory hurricane deductible in certain areas of the state. Wind deductibles are allowed for homeowners, however, a company may not mandate a wind deductible as a means for issuing or renewing a homeowner policy.
The Insurance Department has additional storm and hurricane information on its website.
To receive Connecticut emergency storm and disaster warnings, sign up online here.
For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including guidance and other resources, visit ct.gov/coronavirus. Regular email news updates are available from the Governor’s Office by subscribing online here.
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