Hurricane season began June 1st and runs through November 30th with the peak during late August. Initial forecasts have indicated that there will be an above average number of storms and a likelihood that a major hurricane will make landfall in the Gulf or Eastern Coast of the US which could impact all of Florida. We have learned over the last several years that these storms are highly unpredictable and can change direction at any given time. Being prepared is of the utmost importance. Below you will find important terms to know in the wake of a storm and some tips for pre and post storm action to include claims reporting.
Tropical Depression: This is an atmospheric low-pressure system originating in the tropics. Specifically, a tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained wind speed is 38 miles per hour or less.
Tropical Storm: This is a storm which originates from the tropics with sustained winds ranging from 39 – 73 miles per hour.
Hurricane Watch: This means hurricane conditions are possible within the specified area.
Hurricane Warning: The hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
Hurricane: This is a storm that originates in the tropics with sustained winds in excess of 73 miles per hour.
The best case scenario is to be proactive. Here are a few tips:
- Prepare an emergency response plan – Prepare a disaster recovery and business continuity plan that can be easily implemented before a hurricane. This plan should be reviewed and updated annually.
- Review your property policy for coverages, deductibles, etc. – One can never truly prepare for a hurricane. Different storms carry different challenges- varying wind speeds, flood versus surge, service interruption, ingress-egress issues, tornados, etc. However, it is important to have a designated person in charge of a claim, whether it’s a risk manager, city manager, or maintenance professional. This person should review and understand the coverage agreement-what it covers and what it doesn’t. If there are misunderstandings, or items which appear unclear, a discussion with your agent maybe necessary.
- Compile a list of resources for post storm cleanup and repair (contractors, restoration companies, etc.) – Place vendors on notice during hurricane season, requesting they assist in the event of a minor or major event. Acting quickly can mitigate your damages. Preferred has mailed Hurricane Kits to property members that includes a list of preferred vendors.
In the event you have storm related damages you should do the following:
- Assess damages and prioritize by severity.
- Mitigate damages whenever possible.
- Report claims timely by the following: •Phone: 1-800-237-6617 Fax: 321-832-1448
•Email: [email protected]
•Contact: Fred Tucker, Liability Claims Manager at 1-800-237-6617 ext. 4000 or [email protected]
Post -Storm Claims Handling:
- Once the claim is reported to PGCS they will engage Engle Martin & Assoc. to contact the member to discuss the claims process and schedule inspections as needed.
- Engle Martin works closely with PGCS and will provide status updates, payment recommendations to include advance payments when necessary and settlement recommendations.
- Engle Martin will work closely with the member throughout the claims process until conclusion.
If you have questions about the claims process, please contact your agent or Fred Tucker at PGCS.