Lt. Gov. Gregory R. Francis is encouraging all Virgin Islanders to review their insurance coverage as part of their preparations for the 2012 hurricane season. Francis, who serves as the territory’s Commissioner of Insurance and is a member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, hopes that both homeowners and renters will make review of their coverage an annual activity as coverage needs change over time, according to a press release issued Thursday by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of the USVI.
Francis urges residents, whether their primary resident is a house or a boat, to be proactive in their hurricane preparations in order to avoid any surprises in the event of a disaster. “Talk to your insurance agent before the threat of a storm,” he advises. “Find out what is included in your coverage and what isn’t. Know what your deductible or out of pocket expenses will be if your property is damaged.” He reminds residents to also do the following in order to prepare for the onset of hurricane season:
· Update their property insurance to reflect improvements, major purchases and increased rebuilding and replacement costs.
· Evaluate their property and purchase flood insurance if needed.
· If renting, secure renter’s insurance to cover any losses of their personal property, since a landlord’s coverage may only cover the building.
· Take photographs of their home; also photograph and inventory valuables and other personal property inside of the structure; and
· Store important documents such as insurance policies, deeds, property records, etc. in a waterproof and fireproof container or at an off-island location.
For more information on disaster preparedness and to download a disaster inventory checklist, visit www.ltg.gov.vi.