The 2017 hurricane season is officially under way, and forecasters predict that warm ocean temperatures this summer will produce more storm activity than usual. That’s important news for Floridians, who live in a hurricane-prone state and who should ensure that their insurance policies cover hurricane-related damage (including flooding).
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expects 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine hurricanes, and two to four major hurricanes. (But of course, even one major storm can cause significant property damage
What Does the NOAA Do?
In addition to other responsibilities, NOAA runs the National Hurricane Center (NHC), which tracks and forecasts tropical storms and hurricanes. The center is able to provide five-day forecasts to allow government officials time to order evacuations and make other emergency preparations.
The National Weather Service (NWS), which issues warnings for impending weather threats (like strong winds and potential flooding) also falls under the NOAA umbrella. Together, the NHC and the NWS are responsible for providing critical information leading up to and during tropical storms, hurricanes and other major weather events that can damage, or even destroy, homes and businesses and result in other insurance losses.
What Does FEMA Do?
FEMA is the federal agency that coordinates disaster relief efforts. While FEMA also helps prepare for hurricanes and other significant events, it’s major role comes after disaster strikes. FEMA helps state and local governments carry out their responsibilities in aiding their citizens.
FAQs About Hurricanes
Q: What is the difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane?
A: Meteorologists classify tropical activity according to the current strength of the storm. When thunderstorms develop in a low pressure area and produce a circular wind flow with maximum sustained winds below 39 miles per hour, that’s called a tropical depression. A tropical storm develops when the wind flows are between 39 and 73 miles per hour. A hurricane develops when the wind flows increase even more, and can rank between a Category 1 (at least 74 miles per hour) and a Category 5 (winds exceeding 156 miles per hour).
Q: How long does the hurricane season last?
A: Hurricane season generally runs from June 1 through November 30. However, storms can and do develop outside of this timeframe.
Q: Does my homeowner’s or commercial property insurance cover hurricane damage?
A: It depends on the terms of your policy. If you have sustained an insurance loss and need help recovering damages from your insurance company, an experienced attorney can help.
Contact Us Today
If you have experienced an insurance loss from a hurricane, tropical storm or other major weather event, don’t be surprised if the insurance company’s first reaction is to claim that your damage is due to some pre-existing condition or assert that your claim is not covered under the terms of your policy or even cancel your policy based on recently-discovered “errors” in your application. But don’t worry. Experienced and aggressive attorneys from the Insurance Litigation Group (ILG) are on your side and will advocate on your behalf to see that you get the benefits you are entitled to. Don’t delay and contact us today for a free consultation in Florida. The Insurance Litigation Group will walk you through the terms of your insurance policy and help you recover the full extent of your covered losses.