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Insurance Broker | 3 min read

Are Your Insureds Prepared for an Active Hurricane Season in 2022?

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and will run through November 30, 2022. Weather forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Climate Prediction Center expect 2022 to be the seventh year in a row we will experience above-average hurricane activity. They put the chances of this happening at 65%, with only a 10% chance that this will be a season with fewer than normal storms.

According to NOAA, “The increased activity anticipated this hurricane season is attributed to several climate factors, including the ongoing La Niña that is likely to persist throughout the hurricane season, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon.”

Why Do Hurricanes Cause So Much Damage?

Tropical storms and hurricanes are characterized by high winds and heavy rain. When a hurricane hits land, it actually slows down as it travels and dumps huge amounts of rain on coastal communities before dying out. A hurricane can last for over two weeks and wreak havoc along the entire length of the eastern seaboard before it’s over.

Property damage from hurricanes and tropical storms typically results from one of the following:

Wind—The strength of a hurricane (ranging from Category 1-5) is determined by its strongest force of wind. Hurricanes can have winds of over 150 miles per hour, which is enough to rip trees out of the ground, tear roofs completely off, and send debris flying for miles.

Storm Surge—Strong winds during a hurricane can push water up from the ocean and onto land. This water can cause major flooding and damage to homes, commercial businesses, cars, and other property. Perhaps the most vivid example of this occurred when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005.

Heavy Rain—Hurricanes can cause heavy rain that often lasts for multiple days, causing major inland flooding. Hurricanes often result in over 20 inches of rain. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey dropped a whopping 60.5 inches on the Texas coast.

Are Your Homeowners Insurance Clients Prepared for Hurricane Season?

A hurricane or other natural disaster can cause loss of life or property damage and typically leaves some economic damage in its wake—having a plan in place can reduce the amount of suffrage and bring resilience to unforeseeable events.

Floods, particularly those associated with hurricanes and tropical storms, are the most common natural disaster in the country. According to FEMA, a mere inch of floodwater in a home can result in over $25,000 in property damage! Despite this, homeowners insurance does not cover damages caused by flooding.

Mortgage lenders now require those home and business owners with properties located in a high-risk flood zone to purchase and maintain additional flood insurance on their home loans. Unfortunately, 25% of homes that incur flood damage annually are located outside of the high-risk flood zone. Of the houses and businesses affected by Hurricane Harvey in 2017, 80% were located outside of the 100-year flood plain. The vast majority of these property owners did not have flood insurance.

If flooding caused by a hurricane or tropical storm is a concern to your insureds—particularly if the price to rebuild their home exceeds the standard policy limit of $250,000—then they may want to consider obtaining excess flood insurance.

With another above-average hurricane season predicted for 2022, your insureds are experiencing increased risk of finding themselves, their family, and their friends without a home, food, water, and other necessities needed to survive after a hurricane or other natural disaster. We cannot always predict the weather, so it is recommended that you share this important information with your clients.

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Tyreo Harrison

As Executive Vice President, Lending & Insurance Solutions, Ty Harrison leads teams of lending and insurance professionals that are dedicated to delivering value-added programs, services and technology tailored to address the needs of lenders, loan servicers, portfolio managers, mortgage brokers, insurance agents and insurance brokers.

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