According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2022 will have an above-normal hurricane season, with September being the most active month. (A “normal” hurricane season includes 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. An “above average” season ranges from 14 to 21 named storms, six to ten hurricanes, and three to six major hurricanes). In the New England region, hurricanes in the Hamptons have been unpredictable over the years, and we all remember narrowly escaping Hurricane Henri last year. But hurricanes are unpredictable, and insurance can protect your home and give you peace of mind should weather-based mishaps occur.
At Dayton Ritz + Osborne Insurance, we have experienced specialists who put your safety and well-being first in any and all situations.
Why Should You Be Concerned?
Hurricanes can cause a range of destruction, from robust winds and storm surges that threaten your home’s stability. Did you know that water weighs 1,700 pounds per cubic yard? With that in mind, the repeated pounding of waves can demolish any structure not meant to withstand it, including your home.
Flooding caused by a storm surge, where sea levels rise due to a tropical storm, can be a significant concern. While flooding can destroy the inside of your home, it is not the main factor impacting your home’s stability, as flood levels need to be several meters higher than the structure to cause any damage to the home itself. Still, flooding can cause damage to property, living spaces, windows, and private collections, all of which can be covered under the right insurance plan.
How Hurricane-Prone Areas Impact Premiums
The main factors that determine your premium and the cost of your insurance can include:
- Your home’s location and the possibility of being affected by natural disasters
- The amount of coverage you need
- The deductible you’ve chosen
- Your home’s protective and preventive devices
- Your claims and/or bill-paying history
- Your credit score
- The unique characteristics of your home
- The type of coverage you choose
- How long you’ve been a client
- Other DRO products you might have that generate a discount when bundled
Natural Disaster & Catastrophic Insurance is required for any owner in a hurricane-prone area, and the cost and risk of wind-related losses from hurricanes have risen nearly every decade. This has caused a significant restructuring of property insurance markets, especially in high-risk areas. To break it down, it has been increasingly difficult for property owners to obtain coverage from private insurers in high-risk markets, such as beachfront properties.
This is not true for DRO clients. When national insurers left or substantially reduced their exposure in high-risk areas, DRO was there. With roots in the Hamptons since 1875, DRO knows the importance of protecting you and the life you’ve built.
How to Stay Safe During a Hurricane
Here are 10 DRO Prep Tips to follow:
- Make a Plan. If evacuation is necessary, turn off all utilities and follow community disaster preparedness plans. For example, select a common meeting place or single point of contact for all family members. If you have pets, have a plan for their evacuation as well.
- Secure the Exterior. Trim large trees and shrubs and bring all outside patio furniture, potted plants, bikes, and toys indoors. If necessary, secure outdoor sculptures with burlap or blankets tied with rope.
- Install Storm Shutters. Protect windows, doors, and skylights with appropriate shutters or impact-resistant glass. You can nail pieces of plywood to window frames for last-minute protection.
- Check Wall Hangings and Art. Make sure wall hangings are secure and document your art collection and any existing damage. Make sure that art hung on outside walls is taken inside, and elevated off the floor.
- Move Your Cars. Move cars to higher ground or park them in your garage against the garage doors. Do not park under trees, power lines, or in low-lying areas.
- Power Up. Fill your car’s gas tank, charge your cell phone, test your generator, and have plenty of fuel ready in case of power outages.
- Unplug Appliances. Move appliances and household fixtures away from exterior doors and window openings. Store them in cabinets or interior closets.
- Store Important Documents. Keep important documents, such as legal papers, birth certificates, marriage licenses, financial papers, and insurance policy information, as well as valuables such as jewelry, in a safety deposit box or in a bolted safe in an interior closet in your home.
- Prep an Emergency Kit. Include flashlights, a portable radio, extra batteries, non-perishable food, bottled water, cash, blankets, clothing, and toiletries.
- Identify a Shelter Room. Use an enclosed area on the first floor, in the central part of the house with no windows. Avoid all unprotected windows and doors until the storm passes.
While we protect everything valuable in your life, you are an integral part of the DRO family, and your personal protection is just as important to us.
How DRO Can Help
At Dayton Ritz + Osborne, customizing coverage starts with thoroughly understanding your needs and risks. We’ll ask you many questions, and then we’ll ask even more, because we’re disciplined in our approach to complex risk, which helps us arrive at simple, elegant solutions. We’re also rigorous in our approach to service. While you’re always welcome to call us for any reason, chances are we’ll contact you first. We don’t just sell you: Our professionals present the facts, our insights and suggestions, and answer your questions, then work with you to choose a course of action. If our process sounds like no-pressure tactics, that’s because it is.
For more information on our policies, call us at 631-324-0420 or contact us today.