For Immediate Release: May 26, 2010

Contacts: Kristin Milam 919-807-6011

Are you Prepared for Hurricane Season?

Insurance Commissioner Goodwin and DOI offer tips to help consumers prepare for storms.

RALEIGH -- This week is national Hurricane Preparedness Week, and next week marks the beginning of hurricane season, June 1-Nov. 30. That's why Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin is reminding North Carolinians to get a head start on disaster preparedness before a storm strikes.

"One of the most basic ways for people to get prepared is to review their insurance policies, inventory their home's contents and compile important documents in a safe place," explains Commissioner Goodwin. "Knowing what your coverage is now gives you the chance to make adjustments and have those adjustments take effect before a storm comes to North Carolina." A lot of homeowners and renters are not familiar with their policies and may think they have more coverage than they really do, Goodwin added.

Consider these quick facts and insurance tips during your hurricane season preparation:

If you rent, you need insurance.

If you live in rental property, your landlord's insurance only covers the building. None of your personal belongings are insured unless you purchase your own renters policy. Renters' policies are inexpensive and provide essential coverage in case of damage to your personal property.

Flooding is not covered unless you buy a flood insurance policy.

Remember, the standard homeowners policy does not cover damage caused by rising flood waters. Flooding can occur in any part of the state, from the mountains to the coast, and even if you are not in a flood zone, you may be at risk. Keep these things in mind:

If a storm is approaching, take these steps.

After a storm follow these tips:

If you have questions or problems concerning your insurance coverage, contact the Department of Insurance's Consumer helpline at 1-800-546-5664 or visit the NC-DOI Web site by clicking on this link.