Renter’s Hurricane Prep Tips

In Florida, the threat of a hurricane or tropical storm barreling through your neighborhood is not an anomaly – it’s a fact of life. It is essential homeowners and renters alike prepare long before storm clouds begin to darken the skies. For renters, we’ve prepared the following strategies to include among your rental hurricane prep activities to help ensure your safety and protect your belongings when the winds whip up and calamity blows through.

5 Ways to Conduct Rental Hurricane Prep

As a renter, it behooves you to take whatever steps are necessary to help fortify the place you live. After all, it’s you and your family’s lives at stake, not to mention everything you own. Here are five ways to prepare ahead of time for a hurricane:

1. Talk to Your Landlord

Ideally, before hurricane season begins, it’s helpful to communicate with your landlord about rental hurricane prep expectations. For example, what property preparation does your landlord intend to do when there is a hurricane on the horizon? Is there anything you can help with? Are there recommended evacuation routes for your area, or steps you should take before evacuating? Make sure to swap emergency contact info, so you know how to report any issues, post-storm.

2. Obtain Renter’s Insurance

If the apartment, condo, or home you rent becomes damaged by a hurricane or tropical storm, your landlord’s property insurance will likely cover the structure and important elements of the dwelling. However, your belongings – the contents of the home – are NOT covered by your landlord’s policy.

Renter’s insurance is crucial to help you begin again, should your belongings be damaged in a storm. You can even get your renter’s insurance policy with loss-of-use coverage, which can help pay your temporary living expenses should your rented dwelling become uninhabitable due to a covered peril.

Customize Your Coverage

There are numerous renter’s insurance add-ons you may wish to consider, such as:

Flood insurancefind out if you live in a flood zone

Umbrella insurance – provides additional coverage for high-price valuables, such as jewelry and art

Animal liability insurance – covers legal and medical expenses resulting from dog bites and related injuries to guests in your home

Identity theft insurance – covers your expenses should you become a victim of identity theft fraud

3. Create a Personal Property Inventory

The best way to help ensure a quick and comprehensive insurance payout for damaged property after a covered loss is to be as specific as possible in your documentation. Creating a personal property inventory will help.

The trick is not just to video your belongings, but to create a list including the name(s) of the valuable item, date purchased (or age of item), purchase price and current value, and attach any relevant invoices, receipts, notes, and photos. Save the list in a secure location. Better yet, snap photos of the list, receipts, serial numbers, and other documentation, and make sure those images are digitally saved. This way, you’ll have an electronic version of your property inventory you can access from anywhere.  

4. Know Your Evacuation Route

Whether or not you live in an evacuation zone, take the time to familiarize yourself with the best way to exit your home and leave the area, should you need to. Also, make sure you have a hurricane kit, full of essentials, ready to take with you.

5. Stock Up on Supplies

It’s important to understand what you might face in the aftermath of a storm. You should be prepared for the loss of electricity and the possibility you may be without fresh water or gasoline in the days/weeks following a hurricane. Be prepared to stay indoors initially, which means you’ll want to stock up on the essentials: shelf-stable food; extra water; batteries; a nonelectric can opener, fan, and radio; and a first aid kit.

Additional things you can incorporate into your rental hurricane prep:

• Make sure medications are refilled, if needed.

• Park your car in a safe area and keep the gas tank full.

• Bring outdoor furniture inside.

• Charge your cellphones, cellphone chargers, laptops, and other electronics.

• Keep an eye on tropical weather forecasts, such as NOAA’s National Hurricane Center website.

• Download apps for your electric company provider  and other utility companies (if they have an app) so you can easily report and/or track outages.

• Using a generator? Make sure it is safely stored and can function properly. NEVER operate a generator indoors or in poorly ventilated areas.

Renter’s Insurance in Florida

As a renter in hurricane-prone Florida, you’ll want to make sure your valuables are protected as part of your rental hurricane prep. It can cost a lot to start all over again if your furniture, electronics, and other belongings are damaged, either partially or completely – and renter’s insurance can help.

At Florida Peninsula Insurance Company, we offer comprehensive renter’s insurance with a variety of coverage options available at surprisingly affordable prices. Get started with a rental insurance quote from us now.

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