Every year, hurricane-force winds and storm-related flooding cause billions of dollars of damage across North America. If you have a secondary or vacation home near the ocean – especially if it has an ocean view – there is a significant chance that the house will experience flooding or wind damage if a hurricane hits the area. Because you might not be living in the home at the time, the risk of significant damage is greater, simply because it might not be discovered right away. However, there are steps you can take to help protect your secondary home from damage – below are a few ideas to consider.
- Hire a property management company. Since a professional property management company will be in the area, they can help monitor the weather, check on your property if a hurricane or storm hits, and take action to protect the property or minimize the damage. If you’re a Chubb client, you may be eligible to enroll in Chubb Property Manager if your secondary home is located in the US. This service is available at no additional charge in some areas of the US, to help clients who own secondary properties in hurricane zones.
- Pay attention to landscaping and outdoor spaces. High winds can cause seemingly harmless items – like garden decorations or potted plants — to become projectiles that can cause severe damage to your house or property.
- Have your roof checked before leaving for the season. If not fastened down tightly and correctly, the right gust of wind can lift all or pieces of your roof off your home, causing damage to the contents inside.
- Turn off the water when the home is not in use. Damage can be caused by interior water leaks in addition to external flooding. To help eliminate the risk of water damage from a leaking pipe or appliance, simply turn off the main shutoff valve for the water when no one is in the home.
- Unplug appliances before leaving. This can help eliminate the risk of appliances leaking or being damaged from electrical surges that may be caused by storms.
- Secure wall hangings and artwork. High winds and other storm conditions can shake up your home a bit, causing artwork to fall off shelves and walls unless it is properly secured. Talk to your art advisor to find out the best way to keep your artwork safe.