Now that we are in June, Atlantic hurricane season is officially upon us. I write this while sitting in our Houston office that was closed less ten months ago following Hurricane Harvey’s devastation. Many homes and businesses are still damaged and Houston continues to feel the effects of Harvey. However, let’s take a moment to look ahead to the 2018 hurricane season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting a 75% chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be near or above-normal.1 Broken down to a 70% likelihood of 10-16 storms with 5-9 hurricanes including 1-4 major hurricanes.

Understand your insurance coverage as it relates to a named storm. Most residential policies will not cover flood damage and many would need a separate flood policy to cover their home from storm surge. Many policies I look at also contain separate hurricane/tropical storm/named storm deductibles. Often, I hear from a home owner after a hurricane damages their property and they are shocked to learn that their 1% deductible increases to 5% if the windstorm was a “named storm.” Read your policy as it applies to water damage to your home: Is wind driven rain covered or do you need a storm created opening in the exterior? Does your policy exclude “cosmetic damage” to your roof?

These are all important questions, and the answers may determine your ability to recover for hurricane damage to your property. It is always important to read your entire policy when it is issued—but reread it this hurricane season.