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Review insurance coverage before hurricane season

Hurricane season is less than three weeks away. It begins Friday, June 1, and continues through November 30. That means now is the time to consider your insurance needs. We’ve reported forecasters are predicting a slightly above average probability of a major hurricane making landfall in the United States this year. Experts remind coastal residents it only takes one hurricane, making landfall, to make it a big season for them. With that in mind, Steven Skarpa – an agent with Skarpa Insurance in Dayton – said there are some time factors that must be considered when buying or changing insurance. He said it takes 30 days from purchase for flood insurance to go into effect. As for property and casualty coverage for wind and storm damage - that goes into effect when it’s bound or accepted by the insurance agent. However, insurance companies generally will not write any new coverage or make any changes to existing coverage in Texas whenever a named storm or tropical disturbance enters or even threatens the Gulf of Mexico. Also, insurance companies do not write auto insurance when there is a watch or warning in effect. These rules affect those living in any coastal county or a county that adjoins it. The writing of that insurance coverage resumes when the threat has ended.  According to predictions from Colorado State University, there will be 14 named tropical storms this year with seven reaching hurricane force. Those forecasters say three of those storms will reach major status with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour. A major hurricane constitutes a Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. This year’s prediction compares to the 50-year median of 12 storms per year with 2.3 reaching category 3 or higher. So, what about predictions for our area? These same experts predict the Gulf Coast – all the way from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville in south Texas – has a 38 percent chance of being struck by a major hurricane. The 50-year average is 30 percent. Once more, hurricane season begins June 1, and experts are reminding coastal residents to prepare. For other helpful tips, supply lists and emergency preparation information, go to our homepage at and click on disaster preparedness under the local information tab. 


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