With predictions of an active Atlantic hurricane season, the New York State Insurance Department is urging homeowners to take practical steps to help minimize damage to their homes in the event of a serious storm. “We can’t control the weather, but we can be prepared to better withstand a disaster should it occur. There are improvements that can be made to make our homes more resistant to windstorms and other natural disasters. Some improvements may even help reduce a homeowner’s insurance costs,” says Insurance Superintendent James Wrynn. “The National Weather Service’s outlook for 2010 calls for an 85 percent chance of an above normal hurricane season with as many as 14 hurricanes. That makes it urgent for homeowners to be prepared,” Wrynn adds. Homeowners of any location should consider steps to lessen damage in case of severe weather, such as trimming or removing dead or overhanging branches from trees surrounding your home, removing loose wires, and clear your yard of objects that could be picked up and thrown by high winds. Storm shutters should be installed, or if your home already has them, make sure they fit properly and can be easily put into place. Inspect your home’s roof sheathing, end gables, and gutter leaders to make sure they are properly secured and consider outfitting your home’s roof with storm bracing. Homeowners should contact their insurance companies, agents, or brokers to determine if they are eligible for premium discounts when completing specific improvements. | Read More