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Professional Insurance Agents Say Check Your Insurance Before the Hurricane Flags Fly

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2007 - With the start of the Atlantic hurricane season on June 1, the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents...
May 30, 2007

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2007  - With the start of the Atlantic hurricane season on June 1, the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents is reminding homeowners to review their insurance coverage before the warning flags fly.

"As you prepare for the hurricane season, don't forget to check your insurance," said PIA National President Donna L. Pile. "Be sure your coverage is up-to-date. Don't take chances, call your professional insurance agent and be sure."

The National Hurricane Center in Miami has released its predictions for this season, which begins June 1 and runs through November 30. Forecasters are calling for 13 to 17 named storms, seven to 10 hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes which are Category 3 and above.

"With expectations for an active season, it is critically important that people who live in East and Gulf coastal areas, as well as the Caribbean, be prepared," said Bill Proenza, director of the National Hurricane Center. Speaking of the lull in storms in 2006, Proenza added, "We're always concerned that infrequency can be disarming."

Hurricane Tips for Homeowners

The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) has issued the following tips to help people with their insurance and claims:

Some Tips for Protecting Your Property:

‚ Review your insurance coverage to make sure it is adequate, and familiarize yourself with any windstorm deductibles.

‚ Most hurricane damage is covered under standard homeowners policies, but it is very important to insure your home and belongings to their full replacement cost at current value.

‚ Flooding is generally not covered under standard homeowners policies, so ask your agent about flood insurance.

‚ If you rent a house or apartment, talk to your professional insurance agent about purchasing a renters insurance policy if you don't already have one.

‚ Make an inventory of your possessions and store it off the premises. If your belongings are damaged, this list will help in filing a claim.

‚ If possible, take highly valued items to another, safe location.

‚ Secure your property before a storm arrives!

If Your Home Is Damaged in a Storm:

‚ Be aware of personal and physical safety measures and comply with the orders of local emergency authorities.

‚ Notify your professional insurance agent as soon as possible. Secure your premises before evacuating. Once you have vacated the premises, make sure your agent knows where to contact you.

‚ Take pictures of damaged property and keep notes.

‚ Temporary repairs may be authorized to protect against further damage. Check with your agent, insurance company or contact your PIA state affiliate. Keep all receipts for work.

‚ Use pictures and inventory lists to help your agent and adjuster assess the damages.

‚ Don't be rushed into signing repair contracts. Deal with reputable contractors. If you're unsure about a contractor's credentials, contact your claims adjuster, Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce for referrals.

Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA members are Local Agents Serving Main Street America(SM). PIA's web address is www.pianet.com.

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