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Get insurance coverage for hurricane season before it's too late

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Posted at 9:11 AM, Jul 10, 2024

Hurricane season has just started and while the Coastal Bend avoided a direct hit from Hurricane Beryl, that storm reinforced the need to be prepared. That's even more critical if you live in an area prone to flooding.

John Serrata with State Farm Insurance said he and his team have been taking dozens of calls since Tropical Storm Alberto hit; but now even more with Beryl.

Just a couple of weeks ago, South Texas was hit with heavy winds and major flooding. People were left under water and their homes were damaged. Thankfully, Beryl didn't stop in Corpus Christi, but it completely flipped Houston, Matagorda and other surrounding areas upside down.

"Our phones have definitely gone off. Our quote numbers have increased probably 50% since the season began," Serrata said.

KRIS 6 spoke with Serrata Tuesday morning. He emphasized the importance of getting storm coverage ahead of hurricane season. However, if you have not already, there is still time.

State Farm Insurance writes policies for windstorm and hail damage. They also work with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide flood insurance for people living in vulnerable areas.

“We reach out to our existing policy holders every six months to review and make sure their policies are up to date, especially for hurricane season," Serrata said. "We definitely make sure that they have their windstorm in place. That’s probably the biggest one in our area. Hail is another one. For those who are new to State Farm, we go over every thing they need to know for a new policy and get them covered properly."

There are some restrictions with insurance coverage for weather events. However, you might get lucky. Once a storm begins forming in the Gulf of Mexico, many companies will hold off on providing coverage.

“If you do wait until something is in the Gulf and you are lucky enough to be able to get that coverage, you can pretty much bet that those premiums are going to be a little more costly," Serrata said.

FEMA also implements a 30 day waiting period before a flood insurance policy goes into effect.

Resident, Frank Morales, who is fully covered, spoke about the need to protect your home. He mentioned that you don’t want to get caught without the proper coverage, even though there are still five months left in the season.

“It's absolutely essential," Morales said. "You need wind storm insurance, you need flood insurance. I have both here at the home. Just in case because you don’t want to lose everything and then not have a way to get any of it back. These are your investments. This is the biggest investment you’ll have.”

You also want to sure to ask your insurance rep about Emergency Living Expenses. This can be a big help if you lose your belongings to the weather elements.

“If you are unable to live in your home due to a loss, the insurance will cover costs for temporary housing, food, fuel, any of those type of related expenses," Serrata said.

Homeowners can still take action to protect their homes this hurricane season. State Farm Insuranace continues to write policies for those in need during the hurricane season.

In addition to the proper insurance coverage, you want to be prepared by doing these steps during hurricane season:

  • Have an evacuation plan
  • Walk through your home and conduct an Inventory Check of important belongings. This will help when filing an insurance claim.
  • Cover or board up all windows in your home
  • Secure or bring inside outdoor items to avoid them being picked up by high winds
  • Put together an Emergency Supplies Kit of food, essential medical supplies, flashlights
  • Keep batteries and charges available for your devices. Get a generator, if possible

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