Active Hurricane Season Predicted
Hang onto your hats: according to an article on Science Daily, the Colorado State University forecast team is increasing its storm predictions for the 2007 season to 17 "named" storms. While this is a significant number of storms, it's far less than the 27 storms of the 2005 hurricane season (which is famous -- or infamous -- for Hurricane Katrina). Unfortunately, the prediction does include at least one major hurricane making landfall this year.
William Gray, a member of the Colorado State team who began forecasting hurricane seasons 24 years ago, said that the US has experienced an increase in major storms, starting in 1995. He expects this trend to continue for another 15 to 20 years.
This is not good news for those who live on the US Gulf coast or eastern seaboard. Insurers are upping the ante by both making hurricane insurance harder to get and charging more for it. If you don't have hurricane insurance and you need it, buy it now! Most hurricane insurance will not cover damage until it's been in effect for at least 30 days.
For most homeowners, hurricane insurance alone will not be sufficient to protect you from severe weather. You should also consider flood insurance, especially if you live in a low-lying or coastal area. Another thing to keep in mind: hurricanes can often spawn tornadoes. If you live in an area where tornadoes also occur, you should have tornado insurance.
The problem for the average homeowner is, of course, cost. Each person will have to evaluate the risk and what coverage is essential for any particular home. Be aware: read any policy in detail! As we saw in my last post, insurers are now moving to push more of the risk back to the homeowner, and this can result in changes to a policy that you've had in the past.
Monique L. Attinger