AMELIA, Ohio, March 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- While they can occur year-round, thunderstorms are most likely in the spring and summer months. American Modern Insurance Group, a leading specialty residential insurer, offers homeowners tips to better protect their properties and families against these events.
"When it comes to thunderstorms, thoughtful planning and preparation are essential," said American Modern's Heather Bolyard, Assistant Vice President, Claims Support. "For example, one simple yet effective measure homeowners can take is to secure items found in the yard, like trampolines, which can become airborne and dangerous if not properly tied down or stored away."
Between 1980 and 2015, severe thunderstorms caused 43 percent of insured property windstorm losses in the United States (in 2015 values), according to American Modern's parent, Munich Re. In 2011 alone, the United States suffered $27 billion in insured property losses due to tornados, hail, wind gusts and flash floods that accompanied severe thunderstorms, according to the company.
Although these storms can be unpredictable, there are a number of ways homeowners can better prepare for them, such as:
- Prepare a Supply Kit: A basic disaster supply kit should include essential items such as water, non-perishable food, a flashlight and first-aid materials. Since you can't predict where you'll be when a storm hits, it's important to have supplies where you are most often, such as at home or in your car.
- Trim Trees: Remove or trim damaged trees and limbs to keep your property safe.
- Store Items Inside: When alerted of a thunderstorm, bring in anything from the outside that could become windborne debris (lawn furniture, bicycles, trash bins and trampolines, for example). Also secure any loose siding or fence panels.
- Keep Food Cold: Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep it closed as much as possible so food will last longer should you lose power.
- Check Gutters: Clean gutters and downspouts so rain water can flow freely. A plugged gutter or damaged drain pipe can create a dam and subsequent roof leak.
- Purchase a Portable Generator In Case of a Power Outage: Although generators can be useful in the event of a power outage, remember to use them safely by keeping generators and other power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture. Never try to power the house by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
- Prepare for an Evacuation: Discuss an evacuation plan with members of your household to minimize confusion that may result from the need to evacuate quickly. Especially during peak storm season, it's important to keep your car filled with at least a half tank of gas in case you need to evacuate or in the event of a power outage, as many gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
About American Modern Insurance Group
American Modern is a widely recognized specialty insurance leader that delivers products and services for residential property--like manufactured homes and specialty dwellings--and for consumers in the recreational market, including owners of boats, personal watercraft, classic cars, motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles. American Modern is licensed in all 50 states through six property and casualty companies, which are part of an insurance group that enjoys an A+ (superior) rating by the A.M. Best Company, a leading independent insurance analyst. These companies insure more than 1.7 million policyholders countrywide and have been recognized as a Best Place to Work by the Cincinnati Business Courier and a Top Workplace by the Cincinnati Enquirer.
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SOURCE American Modern Insurance Group