Outlook for 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Outlook for 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Considering the active storm season in 2018, insurance carriers are already looking ahead to the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially begins on June 1.
According to Colorado State University, the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season will be an active one with 13 predicted storm systems to reach tropical strength and earn a name. What’s especially alarming about this forecast is that it’s one storm higher than the 30-year average. However, on a positive note, the forecast is down from the 15 storms for 2018.

One of the reasons why the 2019 hurricane forecast is hovering around the 30-year average is because of the El Nino weather pattern that is expected to stick around into the fall. Despite this, there is no definitive way of knowing how detrimental the 2019 hurricane season will end up being for property owners.

When taking a look back at some of the most recent hurricane seasons, 2017 resulted in approximately $215 billion in damage for U.S. property owners and 2018 created approximately $51 billion in damage. Even though time has passed, many property owners are still reeling from the damage associated with these active storm seasons.

According to Core Logic, the U.S. has more than 6.9 million homes that are at risk of experiencing damage due to hurricanes, which could result in as much as $1.6 trillion in damage. This startling statistic should be a wakeup call to insurance carriers and serve as a reminder of the importance of talking to insureds about the need to prepare their properties for hurricane season.

Use an Insurance Inspection to Prepare for Hurricane Season
In preparation for the arrival of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, insurance carriers should consider offering an in-person insurance inspection as a way to mitigate loss in the event that a storm is to occur. Considering that we’re in a highly competitive marketplace, offering an insurance inspection is a way to add value to property owners and distinguish yourself from other insurance carriers.

As a best practice, here are several areas of the property that should be addressed in an insurance inspection:

1. Roof
A roof if typically the most vulnerable component of a property as it often comes in direct contact with weather ailments (rain, wind, ice, etc).

2. Gutters
While many property owners will have their gutters cleaned in the fall, a lot of debris can accumulate in gutters during the winter and spring months. As a best practice, property owners should also have their gutters cleaned in the spring prior to the arrival of hurricane season as it will help to provide proper drainage.

3. Windows and Doors
Insurance carriers should inspect a property’s windows, doors, and other points of entry to reduce the risk of wind and water from entering the home during a storm.

4. Trees
To mitigate the risk of a tree and/or limbs from damaging the property during a storm, insurance carriers should highlight trees that could cause structural damage due to high winds.

While it might not always be feasible to have an insurance inspection completed before the arrival of hurricane season, our team at Insurance Risk Services is here to help. Contact us to learn how you can use an insurance inspection to mitigate risk and add value to property owners.