Posted by Jackson Revere
With 2018 marking the third consecutive year of above-average catastrophic activity, Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agents of Virginia is encouraging Virginians to ensure their insurance plans would adequately protect them in the event of a natural disaster.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in 2018, there were 11 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion in the U.S. In combination with 2017, these two years were the costliest in history with a total of $653 billion in global economic losses.
“Last year, we saw catastrophic events like Hurricanes Michael and Florence take place among other devastating events.,” IIAV President & CEO Robert N. Bradshaw Jr. said. “There’s no question that events like these have a significant monetary impact both on businesses and individuals. It’s important for Virginians to ensure they are prepared for these scenarios.”
The Virginia General Assembly recently honored IIAV and its agents for their work in spreading awareness across the commonwealth on the need for flood and other disaster-related insurance by naming the first full week in March each year as Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agents Week.
In its continuous fight to educate the public on the importance of these sorts of policies, IIAV urges Virginians to examine their current insurance plans to determine whether they are covered for disasters.
“When reviewing your coverage, you should take a look at common threats associated with disasters,” Bradshaw said. “That means looking at factors such as wind damage and falling trees. Surprisingly, most standard property insurance policies do not cover these related threats.”
According to IIAV, policy owners should also note that coverage for some items may be limited. For instance, many policies will cover damage to property from a fallen tree, but the cost of removing the tree may not be covered at all.
“It’s important to take a close look at the fine details of your coverage,” Bradshaw said. “You don’t want to realize after an event that you lacked covered for certain issues.”
Other recommendations include reviewing deductibles, checking for flood coverage – as most property insurance policies do not cover flood damage – and, if you are a business owner, considering business interruption insurance. This insurance is designed to provide income for a business to fulfill its financial obligations, like bills and payroll, as well as to mitigate financial losses due to fewer customers.
“Although everyday individuals should take a good look at their insurance plans, business owners especially need to do the same,” Bradshaw said.
No matter someone’s personal or business needs for coverage in the case of catastrophic events, there are agents all across the commonwealth who are there to help.
“Agents from our organization have years of experience in helping Virginians consider their insurance options,” Bradshaw said. “We want everyone to be prepared in the face of a catastrophic event so that some of the financial aftermath can be alleviated.”