GVI Encourages Residents to Be Insured for Upcoming Hurricane Season

In light of Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 15 to 21, residents of the Virgin Islands are advised to be prepared for the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, which is June 1 to Nov. 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a very active 2016 hurricane season, with 17 storms, including five major hurricanes, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
“We want you to be prepared in the event of a hurricane or other disaster by having adequate homeowners and flood insurance. Be prepared for the hurricane season by being insured,” said Lt. Gov. Osbert E. Potter, who also serves as the territory’s commissioner of insurance.
Property owners are advised to review their insurance policies annually and contact their agent or the Division of Banking and Insurance if their property insurance needs to be changed or if they have questions. Residents are advised of the following as they prepare for the hurricane season:
· Residents cannot buy a homeowner’s insurance policy once a storm has been declared.
· Always buy replacement cost coverage, which means buy enough insurance to rebuild the home and replace all personal belongings.
· If renting, buy renter’s insurance to cover the contents in the building.
· Understand that residents do not have a separate policy if they own a condominium. The policy belongs to the condominium association as a whole and is subject to a decision by its board of directors. People can purchase a separate contents insurance policy as a condominium owner.
· Make sure to have a homeowner’s insurance policy and a separate flood insurance policy. A homeowner’s insurance policy does not provide flood protection.
· Keep the insurance policy and other important documents in safe, dry waterproof and fireproof containers.
· Know what is insured: inventory personal property and take photographs of the home.
· Have disaster supplies on hand and secure important documents (insurance policies, birth certificates, will and testaments, licenses, etc.)
· Protect property by putting up shutters, cutting back tree limbs and clearing debris.
“Be an informed consumer. Make sure you are fully covered. We asked insurance companies to voluntarily lower their rates. Therefore, shop around because there is affordable homeowner’s insurance in the market,” said Potter.
For more information on disaster preparedness and the responsibilities of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, visit www.ltg.gov.vi., or contact Division of Banking and Insurance on St. Thomas at 774-7166 or on St. Croix at 773-6459.
 

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