Hurricane Laura was officially recorded as one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the U.S. when it slammed into the Louisiana and Texas coastlines Thursday.
But weather forecasters says that Laura could be the first of several storms to torment the U.S. this year.
“Homeowners, mortgage lenders, and insurers need to work together to ensure properties are fully protected and insured,” Tom Larsen, principal of insurance solutions at CoreLogic, told Forbes.com. “CoreLogic data has found a correlation in mortgage delinquencies and catastrophes, which could point to a serious issue of underinsurance trends.”
Forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, say that above-normal activity in the Atlantic is being predicted this year, due to warmer ocean temperatures. They reckon there’s a 60% chance of an above-normal hurricane season, which lasts from June 1 to November 30.
Storm surges from hurricanes can pose significant property damage due to the high winds and flooding. The pressure of power washing up against structures can be extremely damaging—a cubic yard of water weighs about 1,700 pounds, Erik Salna, Florida International University’s associate director for education and outreach at the International Hurricane Research Center, told CBS News.
Homeowners that do not have flood insurance are facing a major financial risk, experts warn. What’s more, Forbes.com reported that a recent survey by the personal finance website ValuePenguin found that 45% of homeowners living in hurricane-prone states have no clue about how much related insurance coverage they need to be fully protected. Moreover, a third of respondents in that survey said they believe they’re covered by their regular homeowner’s insurance policy, but it’s likely that they’re not, as most policies exclude any hurricane-related damage.
“The coincidence of two catastrophes — a damaging hurricane season and the ongoing global pandemic — underscores the importance of the correct valuation of reconstruction cost, one of the core tenets of property insurance,” Larsen told Forbes.com.
This is highlighted by the fact that 73% of people affected by hurricanes this year have also suffered from reduced pay, furloughs or layoffs due to the coronavirus outbreak.