The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season showed the hospitality industry just how much damage these massive storms can create. The cost of damage caused by hurricanes and tropical storms has increased during the 10-year period between 2007 and 2017, according to Property Claim Services (PCS), a Verisk Analytics business. In that one decade, nearly 8 million claims related to hurricanes and tropical storms were filed, with the total estimated insured loss exceeding $100 billion. In 2017 alone, the damage costs related to hurricanes in the United States and its territories exceeded $60 billion, not including National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy claims.
As the National Weather Service (NWS) recognizes National Hurricane Preparedness Week from May 6-12, Nationwide released several tips for protecting properties before a hurricane or tropical storm hits. According to the National Hurricane Center, the hurricane season in the eastern North Pacific runs from May 15 through November 30. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.
“The damage that these powerful storms produce is a reminder of how we all must do everything we can to protect what’s most important to us,” Ken Enscoe, senior claims director for Nationwide’s catastrophe operations, says. “It’s crucial for policyholders to know about their insurance coverage before a storm hits. Advance planning is key to reducing the risk and mitigating the loss hurricanes can create.”
The insurance company urged owners of all types of properties to review their insurance policies, prepare an emergency kit, trim shrubs and trees, and identify a safe place to take shelter when a storm hits. Policyholders can take the following steps in preparation for hurricane season or when a storm is approaching.
Examine the property. Before an event, examine the property to ensure there are no physical and/or liability hazards present.
Protect vulnerable areas. Protect the four critical areas where wind and water can enter: roof, windows, doors, and garage doors.
Protect valuables. Protect documents and other valuables in waterproof containers and/or back them up on a cloud-based system.
Review insurance policies. Read and understand the hotel’s insurance policy. Take inventory with photos or video, and note the approximate value of the items and the date of purchase.