If you live in a manufactured housing community in “Hurricane Country”, you’ve given thought to the high winds and how to avoid sustaining major damage to your home and risk to your family.
The fact is, if you make reasonable preparations beforehand, such as checking the status of your mobile home insurance, the risk should be no more than it would be if you lived in any other kind of housing in the same area. Here are 7 steps you can take to minimize the risk and stay stress-free in your community.
1. Stay on Top of Weather Forecasts
Never get caught by surprise. You should have multiple news sources during hurricane season, including a weather channel on your television and important websites bookmarked on your computer. In addition, make sure you have a weather app installed on your phone, so bulletins are always within easy reach.
While you can do some of these tips weeks, months, or years before a threatening storm, others are actions that you probably can’t complete more than an hour or two before a hurricane touchdown. You never want to have to reduce your protection because you had little or no warning that a serious storm was headed toward your manufactured home community.
2. Take Proof Photos
If you do sustain damage in a hurricane, one of the first steps you’ll want to take is to contact your insurance company. Since a picture is worth a thousand words — especially when you’re making an insurance claim — be sure to snap many photos both inside and outside your mobile home.
Take pictures of the home itself as well as your valuables. If you take those snapshots with your smartphone, you’ll probably have the phone with you in the event of a hurricane, so it’s likely to escape undamaged. But to be sure, store the photos in the cloud to preserve them just in case something does happen to your phone.
3. Install Hurricane-Resistant Exterior Features before Hurricane Season
Exterior safety features like reinforced roofs, window shutters, and shatter-resistant glass will cost more, but they’re smart investments. You might also earn discounts on your manufactured home insurance policy by installing the added protection, in effect reducing the cost of the improvements.
4. Shut off Fuel and Water Services
As the storm approaches your manufactured home, ensure that it can do as little damage as possible. One way to do that is to shut off your water and fuel lines. That will minimize the possibility of flooding your mobile home or sustaining even costlier and more dangerous fire damage.
5. Batten down Exterior Hazards
These additional steps to take as you become aware of approaching danger are yet another reminder of the need to stay mindful of weather bulletins. You need time to react. In this case, reacting takes the form of tying down all anchors, straps, and stabilizer elements — anything that could make your manufactured home less vulnerable to strong winds.
In addition, make sure you secure or bring potential flying missiles such as mailboxes, aluminum awnings, and kids’ toys indoors. The fewer objects coming your way in hundred-mile-an-hour winds, the better.
6. Review Your Manufactured Home Insurance
Is your home fully protected in hurricane season? When was the last time you read your mobile home insurance policy? What’s your deductible? Is it set at the right rate, or is it so high that you won’t be able to afford to pay your out-of-pocket contribution to damages if you need to file a claim? How about the language in your policy? Do you understand all of it, or do you have doubts about what’s covered and what’s not?
Your mobile home insurance agent can and should address all of those issues and questions. Don’t hesitate to give your agent a call if anything in your manufactured home policy doesn’t quite make sense to you. That’s what they’re there for.
7. Don’t Stress Out During Hurricane Season
According to popular culture, virtually all manufactured home communities get wiped out in a hurricane. Fortunately, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, a 2014 study conducted on behalf of The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety found that manufactured homes are actually less prone to high-wind damage than site-build homes.
So take reasonable precautions, make sure you have the mobile home insurance coverage you need, and don’t sweat it.
Find Low-Cost Mobile Home and Manufactured Home Insurance Online Today
Agents are standing by at Freeway Insurance to help you find the insurance that fits your budget and needs. Call Freeway Insurance at (800) 777-5620 to discuss your mobile home insurance needs. Or find a Freeway office near you to meet with an agent or get a quick insurance quote online.