Insurance Commissioner Advises Miss. Residents to Get Insurance NowBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 04 Jun 2013 06:00am |
The six month hurricane season is underway and hurricane forecasters are predicting an extremely active hurricane season. Mississippi's insurance commissioner is warning residents to check their policy and prepare now.
With upwards of 20 named storms, including six major hurricanes predicted this year, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney is calling on Mississippians to make sure they have insurance and double check their policies.
"The main thing that people complain about is 'I didn't know what was in my insurance policy.' So we say, read your insurance policy, talk to your agent so you can know where to call and who to call. Know whether or not you are covered for flood insurance," Chaney said.
Residents living along the coast, in flood prone areas or those living in part of the state's "wind pool" are required to have flood insurance.
Chaney also says people should document their possessions as evidence for their company.
Simply documenting all the items in a home on a camera or cell phone will be sufficient for most policies.
It could be more important than ever to have an up to date insurance policy because Chaney doubts the federal government will ride to the rescue if the state gets hit by a major hurricane.
"I think we are at a point where the Feds are saying 'you get one bite of the apple and after that you are on your own'. And with all the catastrophic events we have had in the mid-west of the United States, the coffers are draining very low," Chaney said.
The state has learned some lessons from previous storms.
Reggie Bell, the director of the state fire academy, says there are new plans in place for this hurricane season to speed search and recovery efforts after a storm.
"Teams are already set. There is pre-deployment staging areas that we would be just north of the impacted area. Which would put us in ground zero as soon as the winds died down to forty miles an hour we could begin search and rescue operations," Bell said.
It is vital that residents have insurance policies before a hurricane forms because companies will not accept new applications after a storm enters the Gulf of Mexico.
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