2023 Hurricane Season is Here: Are You Prepared

As the 2023 hurricane season officially begins in South Carolina, the South Carolina Department of Insurance (SCDOI) is urging residents to take proactive steps toOIFprotect their families and possessions, and to understand their insurance coverage. Understanding your policy, creating a home inventory, and implementing mitigation measures are crucial to ensuring you are resilient in the event of a storm. In this blog post, we will explore key recommendations from the SCDOI to help you prepare for the hurricane season.

Review and Understand Your Insurance Policy: 

Regularly reviewing your insurance policy with your agent is essential in understanding your coverage and exclusions. It's important to understand policy deductibles and terms well in advance of any storm. By doing so, you can avoid surprises and be prepared when making a claim. Take the time each year to assess whether your coverage needs have changed and make adjustments accordingly.

Create a Comprehensive Home Inventory: 

The SCDOI advises utilizing resources such as the NAIC Home Inventory App or the SCDOI Storm Ready Guide to create a comprehensive home inventory. This inventory should include a written list of your belongings stored in a waterproof folder with accompanying photographs. This documentation will serve as invaluable evidence during insurance claims, ensuring that you are adequately compensated for your personal belongings.

Prepare an Emergency Kit:

Building an emergency kit is crucial to ensure your family's safety during a hurricane or storm. The SCDOI recommends having a supply kit that can sustain you and your loved ones for three to five days. Include essential items such as non-perishable food, water, medication, flashlights, and batteries. Don't forget to include copies of your insurance information, which will be important when filing a claim. Visit the SCEMD website for more information on emergency preparedness. 

Protect Your Property: 

Taking proactive measures to protect your property can minimize potential damage during a hurricane. Clearing gutters, removing yard debris, and securing lawn furniture and toys are simple yet effective ways to reduce the risk of property damage. Additionally, consider implementing home improvement projects and retrofit measures. These steps can significantly mitigate the impact of hurricanes and severe storms.

Explore Available Resources: 

The SCDOI provides various resources to homeowners in South Carolina. Visit the SCDOI website to learn more about state income tax credits available to property owners who spend more than 5% of their income on insurance coverage for their legal residences. Homeowners can also receive tax credits to offset the costs of fortification measures on their properties. Additionally, the SC Safe Home program offers grant funds specifically for retrofitting owner-occupied, single-family homes, providing financial assistance to enhance their resistance to hurricanes and high-wind damage.

Preparing for the 2023 hurricane season involves safeguarding your family, property, and insurance coverage. By understanding your policy, creating a comprehensive home inventory, and implementing protective measures, you can enhance your resilience and minimize the impact of potential storms. Stay informed about available resources and take advantage of programs such as the SC Safe Home program to fortify your home further. By taking proactive steps today, you can protect yourself and your loved ones during the hurricane season.