We’re still in hurricane season, and when tropical storms do occur, they can be catastrophic to property and people. Anyone living along the Atlantic or Gulf coast remembers the active year we had last year, with Harvey, Irma, and Maria. It’s always a good time to make sure your property is protected against the very worst that Mother Nature can bring, and to be sure you’re all set with flood insurance. The National Flood Insurance Program is in need of reform and sustainability, and at Latter & Blum Property Management, we are doing everything we can to ensure property owners and investors remain protected.
Preparing Your Rental Property for a Hurricane
You don’t want to begin preparing for a storm once the rain and wind start. Have a plan in place ahead of time. You’ll want to make sure you have good relationships with local vendors so that they can come out to your property to address any damage as soon as it’s safe. You’ll want to make sure all maintenance and repairs have been completed, and there are no loose roof shingles, overgrown branches, or shaky window panes.
Do a complete pre-hurricane season inspection so you know that your property is secure if a storm does hit. Provide your tenants with some tips. If they’re going to stay in place through a hurricane, they should have plenty of food, water, and batteries, and they’ll need to know how to communicate with you. Review your insurance policy so you know how to file a claim and what might be covered or denied.
The National Flood Insurance Program
Having a private flood insurance policy in place is your best option as an investor. However, if you cannot get coverage, you’ll need to rely on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This is a safety net for those who do not have private insurance, but it’s not perfect. Also, it is in danger of being discontinued. Congress granted a four-month extension, ensuring the protection stays in place through November. However, it’s a program that desperately needs reforms. There are strict coverage limits and it doesn’t provide coverage for business interruption. You cannot insure all of your properties under one policy.
Extending and Improving NFIP: Latter & Blum’s Strategic Role
As real estate and property management experts, we believe NFIP needs to be a viable option for property owners. We have a team of lobbyists in Washington, D.C. educating our representatives about the importance of this program and what we can do to make it better. This is a critical issue for all property owners who are in danger of hurricane-related flooding and damage, and we believe it’s our responsibility to our clients to participate in the policymaking process.
If you have any questions about how to prepare for hurricanes, or what you can do to insure yourself and protect your property, please contact us at Latter & Blum Property Management. We’d be happy to tell you more, and share additional information about flood protection.