May is Hurricane Preparedness Month, Virginia! An active season is forecasted for this year as researchers at North Carolina University are predicting eight to eleven named tropical storms between June 1 and late November in the Atlantic hurricane basin. Three to five of those could turn into major hurricanes, Category three or higher. Here at NNINS, we never underestimate the possible impact any big storm can have on Virginians and for good reason. We know from experience it only takes ONE of these tropical cyclones to devastate property and result in costly wind damage and flooding.
So how can you protect and preserve your home? You hope for the best and plan for the worst. We can help you know how best to shield your home from the top 4 areas of risk for hurricane damage. The answers to these questions could save you a ton of heartache from whatever is in store for the Commonwealth this year.
Will your roof protect everything under it?
The #1 preemptive weapon in your home’s arsenal is its roof. It’s also the most susceptible to costly damage. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is that you maintain yours with an annual professional inspection. Virginia has already experienced its share of wild spring weather. Get an inspection now or anytime you suspect damage.
Are your gutters and downspouts open for business?
Your gutters and downspouts are next in line for protecting your home in stormy weather. They need to drive all that rainwater down and away from your foundation. They can’t do it if they’re full of debris from the previous seasons. Annual maintenance is crucial to waterproofing your home during extreme rainfall.
When was the last time you took a good look at your trees?
Trees can cause significant damage to homes and property. While not all damage can be prevented, it's a good idea to annually check the health of any trees in your yard, especially those close to your home or driveway. Also, don't forget to do regular maintenance like trimming dead and overhanging branches and fertilizing. If you're not convinced, check out the way wind took its toll on the Shurtleff's trees in Charlottesville.
Do you have the right coverage?
When was the last time you updated your Homeowners insurance policy? The important thing is to speak to your independent agent to make sure you are sufficiently covered for hurricane season, especially if you’ve done anything to your home that adds value. Ask for an insurance checkup to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance to repair or even replace your home in a worst-case scenario.
Remember, standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding of your home. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, you’ll need a separate policy flooding. It’s available through the agent locator at www.floodsmart.gov. Act now- flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period. Don't forget about protecting your car. The good news is comprehensive car insurance does cover flooding.
Let’s hope for a low impact hurricane season for Virginia but prepare for whatever comes. Start by addressing these four critical issues. Then protect your family and property; have a home inventory and check out our Virginia Hurricane Preparedness Guide. And let us know if we can be of service to you or provide a homeowners insurance quote. We are a Virginia-only insurer by choice. We specialize in preserving and protecting the things Virginians value most. And peak hurricane season is right around the corner!