Hurricane Season began June 1. Galveston Insurance Associates (GIA), an Independent Insurance Agency since 1892, asks “Are you ready?”
Now is the time to prepare — before a storm is in the Gulf. GIA recommends a review of your insurance policies. Your agent can provide copies. Standard home and business policies do not include flood and most don’t include windstorm here. Separate policies are needed.
There is a 30-day waiting period for most new flood insurance policies through the NFIP. Other companies, including Texas Windstorm, won’t write new or increased coverage when a hurricane is in the Gulf, so don’t wait.
Talk to your agent about higher limits, if needed. Do you own items that have limited or no coverage on your current policies? You may be able to add additional coverage to the policy or need a separate policy to address those items. And, don’t forget about your auto policy!
Verify that your mortgage or lienholder information is correct. Check coverage amounts and deductibles. Is there enough insurance for a total loss? If not, you will be responsible for a larger portion of the loss amount. And, while a higher deductible lowers your premium, it also means you will pay a higher portion of the loss yourself.
Inventory your household or business contents. Take photos and/or videos of your contents and building. This helps determine the amount of coverage you need and documents your possessions for the adjuster after a loss.
Keep your policies, inventory list, photos, receipts and other important papers in a waterproof container that can go with you if evacuation is needed. Download GIA’s mobile app and store your inventory and policy information there.
Make a disaster plan for your family or business. Keep your vehicles maintained and gassed up. Protect your property as much as possible. When a storm comes, close and board up windows. Put movable outdoor property inside.
After a loss, do what you can to prevent additional damage. Separate out damaged items but, unless there is a health hazard, don’t throw them away. Keep them for the adjuster to see. List your damaged items. An inventory is priceless during this process. Report the loss to your agent. Provide good contact information for yourself, including any temporary address or phone number. Work with the adjuster to settle your claim. If you have problems, discuss them with your agent.
Whether you live and work on the Island or Mainland, GIA has a location to serve you. They have two convenient offices, on Galveston Island at 6025 Heards Lane and in Friendswood at 1102B South Friendswood. Call them at (409) 740-1251 or (281) 442-1892. Visit their website at www.gia-tx.com or download their mobile app.