Every year, hurricanes cause devastating losses for many U.S. homeowners. These severe tropical storms typically include several dangerous perils, including high winds and heavy rains, while often leading to significant inland flooding. If you are a homeowner in areas at risk of hurricanes, you should also know that losses have risen in recent years. In fact, according to a recent study by the Insurance Information Institute, when adjusted for inflation, nine of the 10 most costly hurricanes to affect the United States have taken place since 2005.
Defending Your Home Against Hurricanes
Given the potentially devastating damage that could be inflicted on your home from even a single hurricane, you must protect your property, minimize potential losses and position yourself to recover in the wake of the storm. Consider the following steps to fortify your property in advance of hurricane season:
- Secure your roof—During a hurricane, your roof may take the brunt of high winds and heavy rains. To minimize damage and prevent leaks, seal any cracks; replace, nail or caulk loose shingles; and install hurricane straps. Consider having a qualified professional inspect your roof ahead of hurricane season.
- Strengthen doors and windows—Search areas around doors and windows for cracks and caulk them to limit water entry. Install storm shutters or securely fasten plywood over these areas to limit damage from winds and flying objects.
- Remove outdoor objects—Many possessions often stored outside, such as patio furniture, grills and lawnmowers, may pose significant threats during hurricanes. Bring all items inside or anchor them securely to the ground to prevent them from being blown around during storms.
- Address vegetation—Trees and larger plants could cause significant damage to your home during hurricanes. Inspect the outside of your property and have trees removed and tree limbs trimmed to prevent them from potentially damaging your home.
- Reconsider landscaping—Replace heavier landscaping materials, such as gravel and rock, with fire-resistant materials and those less likely to cause significant damage if blown around by high winds.
- Fortify openings—Prevent floodwater from entering your home by sealing any outside openings on your home’s walls, including vents, electrical outlets, garden hose bibs and any areas where cables or pipes enter the structure.
Get the Right Coverage
Even if you are diligent and thorough in fortifying your home against hurricane-related perils, these storms may inflict significant damage. You may also be ordered to evacuate your home as a storm approaches, so you will not be present to actively mitigate losses. Given how these circumstances can be taken out of your hands, you should have hurricane insurance to help mitigate out-of-pocket losses.
We’re here to help. At the Dave Millet Insurance Agency, we have a history of service dating back to 1958. Our agents work with homeowners and families in Metairie, Boutte and the surrounding areas to ensure optimal financial security through ideal insurance solutions. Visit our website or call one of our offices today to get started.
This blog is intended for informational and educational use only. It is not exhaustive and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your insurance professional for further information.