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Expect the unexpected

4 ways to prepare for hurricane season

Natural disasters stir up a lot of chaos before, during and after they blow through. Long after the calm returns to the land and sea, the insurance industry continues to feel the aftermath.

It’s certainly understandable that people may not want to think about their insurance coverage right now. But, with the impending hurricane season, you don’t want your clients to get caught off guard. Here are some things you can do now to prepare for what may come.

Make sure your clients are insured at the correct value. In particular, if you’ve had a client for a long time, they may not have the level of coverage they need so it’s worthwhile to take a quick look and make sure they’re covered to the correct value. “You don’t want to find out that the structure is under-insured when the adjuster comes calling,” said Jonathan McDaniel, Sr. Marketing Representative at MacNeill.

Check to be sure you don’t have any clients that are in cancellation or pending cancellation. Remember, if a binding restriction gets put in place during storm season, you will not be able to get coverage if the policy is in a re-write state. “Binding restrictions can happen very quickly, so it’s better to be prepared in advance,” said Joanie Tate, Sr. Marketing Representative at MacNeill.

Remind your clients about the importance of flood coverage. There’s a lot of misinformation out there for consumers about flood zones and coverage. The truth is that every zone in the U.S. has the potential to be a flood zone. And, even just an inch of water in a home can cause thousands of dollars of damage. Most people don’t realize that rising water isn’t covered under a homeowner’s policy.

Get your agency hurricane-ready. Gather information about toll-free numbers for claims and online resources so you have it on hand to email, tweet or text if needed. Follow your Department of Insurance on social media so you can share valuable insurance storm information with your clients. Talk to your staff about expectations and communications plans before, during and after a storm. Gather their contact information and discuss how you’ll handle certain scenarios like evacuations or power outages. Make sure your clients, staff and the Department of Insurance have your updated contact information. Back up electronic files and any hard copies of documents that you may need to reference. “Technology can be a real life saver during an emergency. If you make backups and set up emails and voice messages in advance with information for your policyholders, all you’ll need to do is click a button,” said Donna Turner, Sr. Marketing Representative at MacNeill.

Be prepared. When you expect the unexpected — and prepare for it — you, and your clients, will be in the best position you can be.

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