PCI Urges Consumers to be Physically and Financially Ready for Severe Weather; Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 3-9, 2013

PCI reminds homeowners, renters and business owners that being prepared for severe weather means conducting a review of their insurance policies and discussing coverage options with their insurance agent or company.

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Be Sure You're Covered

Most tornado, windstorm, hail and similar severe weather-related losses are covered by standard homeowners, renters and commercial property insurance policies. However, flood coverage typically must be purchased as a separate policy.

CHICAGO (PRWEB) March 04, 2013

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America is encouraging individuals, families and businesses to use National Severe Weather Preparedness Week March 3-9, 2013 as an opportunity to become better prepared physically as well as financially for severe weather threats.

Each year, individuals are killed or seriously injured by tornadoes and other types of severe weather, despite advance warning. In 2012, there were more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries. Severe weather knows no boundaries and affects every individual. According to Munich Re, a major reinsurer, insured losses due to severe thunderstorms and tornadoes cost nearly $15 billion.

“Tornadoes can occur rapidly, and with little warning which makes advanced preparation very important,” said Chris Hackett, director of personal lines for PCI. “We encourage consumers to know the warning signals used in their community and be prepared to take cover when alerted. In addition to having an emergency response plan, storm kit with a NOAA weather radio, flashlight, batteries and first-aid items, being prepared means homeowners, renters and business owners should conduct a review of their insurance policies and discuss coverage options with their insurance agent or company. Most tornado, windstorm, hail and similar severe weather-related losses are covered by standard homeowners, renters and commercial property insurance policies. However, flood damage is not typically covered. It must be purchased as a separate policy. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the primary source for flood insurance.”

PCI is committed to educating consumers about their insurance coverage and provides tips and resources about coverage related to severe weather:

Basic Coverage Tip:
Tornado losses to a home are covered by the windstorm peril under the homeowners insurance policy. Renters insurance also provides coverage to policyholder possessions under this peril. Business owners are covered under their commercial policies. Protection from windstorm or hail damage for cars is covered under the comprehensive portion of the automobile insurance policy.

Pre-Storm Insurance Tips:

  • Conduct a detailed inventory of your possessions including receipts, descriptions and photos of your home's contents.
  • Keep your insurance policy and agent information along with other important information with you or in a secure place.
  • Keep a cell phone charged and with you for emergencies.
  • If you have one, keep a laptop computer close by. Most insurance companies allow claims reports to be submitted via the Internet.

Tips If You Experienced a Loss:

  • Immediately contact your insurance agent or company representative
  • Inspect property and cars for damage
  • Inventory losses and photograph damage, and save related receipts to assist with claims handling
  • Secure property from further damage or theft
  • Check the background and legitimacy of repair contractors. Ask your insurance company for assistance in locating a reputable contractor.
  • Keep detailed records of business activity and extra expenses during the interruption period, and prepare records to show the income from the business both before and after the loss.

Severe Weather Awareness Week is a nationwide effort sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is a nationwide effort to increase awareness of severe weather and to motivate individuals, families, businesses, and communities to take actions that will prepare them in the event of severe weather.
Information on the different types of severe weather such as tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flooding is available at http://www.weather.gov and http://www.ready.gov/severe-weather or the Spanish-language web site http://www.listo.gov.

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PCI is composed of more than 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross-section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write over $190 billion in annual premium, 40 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 46 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 32 percent of the homeowners market, 38 percent of the commercial property and liability market, and 41 percent of the private workers compensation market.