Georgia insurance commissioner urges preparation as he marks 1st day of hurricane season

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – You may not be ready to hear this, but June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season.

“This is an opportunity for us to really focus on getting back to normal in Georgia, and normal in Georgia is preparing for the storm season,” said Georgia Insurance Commissioner John King Tuesday.

King says it won’t do people any good to wait until a day before the storm, i.e., prepare early.

“Inventory your property and review insurance policies,” he told WSAV.

He says a homeowners policy may not be enough, so many should consider buying a flood insurance policy.

“A conversation with an insurance professional about whether you should get flood insurance or not, this is the time to have that,” said King. “We have a responsibility to prepare, and that’s what insurance is, to cover the risk.”

King says you should have enough coverage to help you recover as quickly as possible, and he reminds people that flood policies may not go into effect for 30 days.

“If you wait until a hurricane is bearing down on you to start thinking about coverage, it’s already too late,” he said.

He says to take pictures of valuable, important papers and insurance policies, and make sure you have electronic files so items can be located quickly.

King also says in general, people seem to need more information about the kind of coverage they buy. Be aware that you can buy “cash value coverage or replacement cost coverage.”

He says cash value covers the value of an item, say a refrigerator. If you’ve had the refrigerator for a decade, it will give you what a 10-year-old refrigerator is worth. King says replacement cost coverage can often provide you with a new refrigerator.

“Some people really need to be asking if they have the right insurance or even if they have too much because sometimes they don’t understand what they’re buying,” said King.

He says if you need an outside opinion, his office is here to help.

“If you have doubts about whether you’re getting a good answer (from your agency) or not, call our agency, we have a consumer support center.”

There is a list of other things the insurance commissioner’s office recommends in making emergency plans.

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