At the Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce Hurricane Seminar this morning, Brent Winans of the Plastridge Agency gave a fantastic presentation, "10 Ways to Get Ready for a Hurricane Claim in 10 Minutes." Winans holds the coveted CPCU designation and is Vice President of Risk Management Services.

I first came across Winans when he sent me an article he wrote, Florida Flirting with Hurricane Insurance Disaster, published by the International Risk Management Institute in 2008. At the time, I was on the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s Mission Review Task Force. Winan’s views are worthy of reflection. Florida will be flirting with that potential financial disaster for some time, although the recent laws allowing rate changes to Citizens will help place them on a much sounder actuarial method of premium rates.

Here were the points from Winan’s presentation this morning:

Prepare your insurance policy

1. Do you have proper coverage–

  • Flood?

  • Excess flood?

  • Ordinance and law?

  • Offsite power outage?

  • Business Interruption/Extra Expense?

  • Contingent Business Insurance coverage?

2. Do you have enough coverage—

  • Building?

  • Contents?

  • Inventory?

  • Business Interruption/Extra Expense?

3. Your insurance policy—

  • Get a complete copy

  • Put it in a safe/accessible place

Prepare for the storm

4. Put a catastrophe plan in place

5. Prepare for cash needs

6. Take photos and videos now

7. Back up and protect critical data

After the storm

8. Document the damage

  • Photos and videos

  • Don’t throw damaged items away

  • Save receipts

9. Protect your property from further damage

10. Beware of contractors wanting…

  • Cash

  • To start without documentation

  • To contract non-emergency work

  • Payment in full

Policyholders should start on the first four points immediately. Summer is here and the water is warming everyday. Sometime and somewhere, there will be a tropical cyclone threatening the Coastal region before the cooling days of November.