Survey: Florida Homeowners Still Not Prepared for Hurricane Season

02 Jul
Florida unprepared for hurricane season

Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year should have been enough to convince every Florida homeowner of the vital importance of preparing for the worst – but it doesn’t seem that’s really happened.

According to a recent survey by the FAIR Foundation, the majority of Floridians are still not prepared for the 2018 hurricane season.

The survey found that while over three-quarters of Floridians expressed concern about potential hurricanes this season only half have reviewed their homeowner insurance policies to make sure they are properly protected.

The survey was conducted June 1-4. Roughly 1,000 Floridians were surveyed with a random sample being pulled from the Florida Voter File.

Survey Results

The survey found that 76 percent of respondents feel very or somewhat concerned about the new hurricane season. A mere 5 percent felt no concern at all about the upcoming hurricane season.

Roughly 50 percent of the surveyed homeowners have reviewed their homeowners policy since last hurricane season to verify they are properly covered and 21 percent have updated their policies. 30 percent of respondents said they have not reviewed or updated their policies at all.

“Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year should have been enough to convince every Floridian of the vital importance of preparing for the worst – but it doesn’t seem that’s really happened,” said Guy McClurkan, executive director for the FAIR Foundation, in a recent Insurance Journal article.

“The 2018 hurricane season is already off to a fast start, so it’s crucial that everyone review their family’s safety and evacuation plans, check their insurance coverage and consider purchasing separate flood insurance, since floods aren’t covered by a typical homeowners policy,” he continued in the article.

Floridians Concerned About Safety and Comfort

The survey found that Floridians are focused on their safety and comfort following a major storm.

When they were asked what conveniences they would choose to have in the four days after a hurricane the results were as follows:

  • Refrigerator -74 percent
  • Fully charged cell phone – 26 percent
  • Air conditioning – 77 percent
  • Internet access – 83 percent
  • Cable TV – 17 percent

The desire for Internet access over TV spanned all aged groups but was most prized by younger homeowners. 92 percent of millennials preferred Internet to TV while only 74 percent of those 55 and older preferred the Internet.

The FAIR Foundation, which is an affiliate of the Florida Association for Insurance Reform is urging all Florida residents to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, especially when it comes to insurance.

A separate survey, which was conducted in December, found 64 percent of respondents that attempted to purchase flood insurance when Hurricane Irma was headed toward Florida were unable to purchase a policy.

Flood damage is not covered by a standard homeowners policy, you must carry a flood insurance policy to be fully covered. Most flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period until they go into affect, which means you will not be covered if you wait until the last minute to purchase a policy.

Tips for Hurricane Preparation

Here are a few tips to prepare your home for the 2018 hurricane season:

  • Have a plan in place: Put an evacuation plan in place, including one for your pets. Determine evacuation routes and meeting places in the event your family is separated. Make sure everyone in your family is aware of the meeting place and evacuation routes.
  • Review your insurance: Reviewing your coverage on a yearly basis, prior to the start of hurricane season will ensure that you are properly covered. Check to see if your policy is replacement value or actual cash value as well as looking at the type of deductible you have, especially for your roof.

Remember that flood damage is never covered by a standard homeowners policy so if your home is in danger of flooding you must have a flood insurance policy in place.

  • Buy a NOAA radio: These radios will help you stayed informed of weather as well as local conditions and warnings.

Add Storm Shutters: Adding storm shutters to your home will not only help protect it, they will often result in a discount on your insurance premium. Updating your home to make it more hurricane resistant will usually result in a significant discount on your premium.

Tags: , , , , , , ,