CHICAGO, Aug. 23 -- The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America issued the following news release:
As Florida braces for a possible hurricane in the coming days, property owners should be sure to take some basic precautions to protect themselves and their belongings. Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to develop into a hurricane possibly as early as Thursday and could threaten Florida by Monday, though it is still too early to determine its ultimate path or magnitude.
"Even if Tropical Storm Isaac does not develop into a hurricane or veers away from Florida, it is a good idea to take precautionary measures to prevent damage to vulnerable property and keep out of harm's way," said Chris Hackett, director of personal lines policy for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). "In the event of an evacuation order, those who are ordered to evacuate should be prepared to report claims to their insurer as soon as it is safe to return to their homes and businesses and assess the damage."
In the event of a catastrophe, insurers will be ready to respond, as soon as it is safe, with catastrophe teams at the scene should Isaac create significant damage. PCI and other industry groups constantly work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security, on disaster planning for both individual homeowners and businesses.
PCI recommends the following hurricane precautions:
* Review your property insurance policy, especially the "declarations" page, and check whether your policy pays replacement costs, or actual cash value for a covered loss.
* Inventory your household items, and photograph or videotape them for further documentation. Keep this information and your insurance policies in a safe place.
* Keep the name, address and claims-reporting telephone number of your insurer and agent in a safe and easily accessible place.
* Protect your property by covering all windows with plywood or shutters, moving vehicles into the garage when possible and placing grills and patio furniture indoors.
* Make sure watercraft are stored in a secure area, like a garage or covered boat dock. A typical homeowner's policy will cover property damage in limited instances for small watercraft, and separate boat policies will provide broader, more extensive property and liability protection for larger, faster boat, yachts, jet skis and wave runners.
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