Lieutenant Governor Osbert E. Potter, who also serves as the territory’s Commissioner of Insurance, reminds Virgin Islands residents to be prepared for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, which is June 1 to November 30, 2018. AccuWeather predicts an above-normal season, with 12 to 15 named storms, including 6 to 8 major hurricanes.
“Know what is covered and what will not be covered in your homeowner’s insurance policy. Get an appraisal that will include the replacement cost value. Avoid being underinsured by purchasing the replacement cost value of your residential property. The U.S. Virgin Islands is in a hurricane prone area, so do not exclude windstorm coverage. Remember, hurricane insurance does not include flood insurance, therefore you must buy a separate hurricane insurance policy with windstorm coverage, and a separate flood insurance policy”, said Lieutenant Governor Potter.
Lieutenant Governor Potter advises property owners to review their insurance policies annually and contact their agent or the Division of Banking, Insurance & Financial Regulation if their property insurance needs to be changed, or if they have questions. Lieutenant Governor Potter advises residents of the following as they prepare for the hurricane season:
- You cannot buy a homeowners insurance policy once a storm has been declared.
- Always buy replacement cost coverage, which means buy enough insurance to rebuild the home and replace all personal belongings.
- If renting, buy renter’s insurance to cover your contents in the building.
- Understand that you do not have a separate policy if you own a condominium. The policy belongs to the condominium association as a whole and is subject to a decision by its Board of Directors. You can purchase a separate contents insurance policy as a condominium owner.
- Make sure you have a homeowner’s insurance policy and a separate flood insurance policy. A homeowner’s insurance policy does not provide flood protection.
- Keep your insurance policy and other important documents in safe, dry waterproof and fireproof containers.
- Know what is insured: inventory personal property and take photographs of your home.
- Have disaster supplies on hand and secure important documents (insurance policies, birth certificates, will and testaments, licenses, etc.)
- Protect your property by putting up shutters, cutting back tree limbs and clearing debris.
“Be an informed consumer. Make sure you are fully covered.” stated Lieutenant Governor Potter.
For more information on disaster preparedness and the responsibilities of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, visit www.ltg.gov.vi., or contact Division of Banking, Insurance & Financial Regulation on St. Thomas at 340-774-7166 and on St. Croix and 340-773-6459.