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Preparing for a Hurricane

Personal Insurance Customers

 

How to help prepare for a hurricane

 

Tips for developing an inventory of your important possessions

 

How to build an emergency preparedness kit

 

Generator safety tips

 

What to do during and after the storm

 

Help protect against flood damage

 

Business Insurance Customers

 

Prepare your business for a hurricane

 

Emergency preparedness

 

CDC: Hurricane Preparedness and Response

 

Track the storm

 

 

Frequesntly Asked Questions

The hurricane is coming, I am evacuating, what should I do?

Make sure to have a copy of your policies, or declaration pages are sufficient, as they contain your coverage amounts and deductibles.  If you cannot locate your policy documents, try to obtain your policy numbers before departing.  Do not panic, if you cannot locate either, your carrier will be able to pull you up by name and address.  Our office will be able to assist as well in the event a claim needs to be filed, but we always recommend going straight to the carrier if your loss clearly exceeds your deductible to expedite the claims process.  The faster you file your claim; the quicker you receive your settlement.  Claim satisfaction studies have shown the faster you receive your settlement, the higher your satisfaction ratings will be with your carrier’s claims process, and Atlantic Shield’s goal is for your expectations be exceeded rather than met.

Will my insurance company pay for losses if I do not install plywood or other opening protection?

Yes, while deployment of opening protection is encouraged, it is not required for coverage to apply in the event of a covered loss.

Does my homeowners policy cover hurricane damage?

The answer is yes, if you have wind/hail coverage as a named peril covered under your policy.  Most policies have a separate percentage deductible that applies to wind/hail or Named Storm losses, which would indicate wind damage coverage is included in your policy.

Please note that rising water damage in association with a hurricane is not covered by your homeowners policy.  That is a standard exclusion in all homeowners policies, and the peril of flood is insured through a National Flood Insurance Program policy for most.  If you do not have a separate flood policy in place, you do not have coverage for rising water losses in association with a hurricane.

We will be constantly updating claim filing procedures, special phone numbers and emails to expedite your claims process should the need arise to file.  Check our “Hurricane Irma” section of our website for more details and also follow us on Facebook for additional shared information.

What is my out of pocket expense in the event of a wind loss due to Irma? 

In order to answer this question, you will need to locate your policy and refer to the Wind/Hail, Named Storm or Hurricane Deductible specific section?  Most, if not all reading this message, have a higher deductible for “wind” related losses than “fire” for example.  Your policy documents will clarify what percentage deductible would apply specific to your coverage.  As an example, if your home is insured for $500,000 Coverage A (Dwelling Protection) and you carry a 5% Wind/Hail, Named Storm or Hurricane Deductible the amount you would pay is calculated as follows:

$500,000 X 5% = $25,000 Deductible

$500,000 X 2% = $10,000 Deductible

Percentage deductibles are calculated off of your dwelling limit, not the amount of the loss.  Remember that deductibles are out of pocket expenses before any money will be paid by your insurance company for your loss.  As a result, it is a good idea not to file a minor claim if you are not sure if the cost to repair damage will exceed your deductible or not.  In these cases, we recommend procuring a trusted professional to assess your damage, and provide a dollar amount to complete the work.  From there you can make an informed decision on whether or not to file a claim.  If you are on the fence on whether to file, please contact our office directly so that we can help with this decision.

How is flood damage covered?

Flood coverage is provided through your National Flood Insurance Program policy.  You should also refer to this separate policy for questions about your flood coverage and deductibles that would apply in the event of a covered loss due to flooding.  You should note that deductibles apply separately to your structure and contents, in other words two deductibles apply if you have damage to both your home and the contents contained within.  We have also provided direct contact numbers for filing of your flood insurance claims as well on our website.

Can I perform emergency repairs? 

Not only can you perform these repairs, you are encouraged to do so by your insurance company to the extent you feel safe making them.  If a more involved emergency repair is needed we are including a list of local, quality disaster restoration companies that are standing by and ready to help on our website and Facebook.  Just remember to keep repairs/replacements to a minimum until your adjuster has contacted you to set an appointment.  If you would like to proceed with additional repairs/replacements prior to your inspection date, ask permission first, and your adjuster will provide you details on how to proceed.

Example:  Wet Carpeting that you wish to rip out so your sub-floor can dry more efficiently.

You are allowed to do this as a mitigating repair prior to speaking with an adjuster.  Just make sure to keep the carpet and pad on premises.  This is a good example in general, keep any items that you tear out for future inspection, and do your best not to prejudice in any way the inspection that will need to be done to properly document your adjuster’s file when he requests payment on your behalf from the insuring company.

 

If a tree falls on my property is it covered?

While not all policies are the same, normal homeowners policy language states that a tree must damage a covered structure to be afforded coverage for the cutting up and hauling off of such tree or limb.  A normal maximum limit for tree removal is $500 per tree or limb, with a maximum of $1,000 for all trees/limbs.  Usually a higher limit can be afforded for dropping a tree safely off of a covered structure.  This information is meant to be general in nature, and specific circumstances will be addressed at time of loss inspection by a licensed claims adjuster.

If a tree falls from my neighbor’s yard whose policy pays?

We get this question all of the time and the answer is your policy pays.  You carry insurance on your home for such events, and assuming your neighbor did not cause the tree to fall on your home this is considered to be an act of God, triggering your wind coverage if the tree strikes and damages your covered structure. 

 

Our Location

Atlantic Shield Insurance Group

421 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. STE 200
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
Main office: 843-202-4813
Toll free: 888-856-2909
Fax: 888-697-5823

Our Providers

Testimonials

I am very happy to have such a reliable and customer oriented agency to which I can refer my clients!

Len F. - Premier Southern Properties, LLC
Not only am I happy with the insurance package I have on my home, but also have the added bonus of a dedicated, courteous, and extremely professional account manager looking out for my insurance interests. Situations like these place a company like Atlantic Shield far above many others, regardless of product offering or pricing. Thank you again and keep up the great service!

Mike B.
Erik, I would like to express our appreciation for all of the assistance provided by Marianne during the last year or so. For us 'non-insurance' people, navigating through coverage is confusing, to say the least. We know that the coverage for Benchmark Installation, Inc. as well as Seashore Associates, Inc. (now closed) is and was a small portion of your business. However, Marianne has always provided service often above her job description. We appreciate all of her help.

Pat & Michael H.