Hurricane Nicholas, the 14th-named storm of the current Hurricane season and the second hurricane to make landfall in the United States this year, may serve as a harbinger of what is likely to still come, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which has maintained its prediction for an above-average hurricane activity in the Atlantic this year.
NOAA updated forecast predicts 15 to 21 named storms in the 2021 season in the Atlantic. Of those, seven to 10 are to become hurricanes, with top winds of at least 74 miles per hour. As many as five of those storms are predicted to become major hurricanes ranked as Category 3, 4, or 5, with top winds of at least 111 mph.
While there is a 60 percent chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, NOAA does not believe it will be as busy as last year’s activity, which set the record with 30 named storms; so many that NOAA exhausted its list of names and started using Greek letters instead. This year, Tropical Storm Anna surfaced in May, marking the seventh consecutive year at least one named storm has developed in the Atlantic basin prior to the June 1, the official start of hurricane season.
When and where a hurricane is likely to make landfall is typically not known until about a week before the storm emerges. What should be clear to residential and commercial property owners in hurricane-prone areas is that catastrophe insurance is one measure for mitigating damage when a severe storm does strike.
“We advise our partner agents to help prepare their clients for hurricane season with the appropriate coverage options to ensure they are able to rebuild their lives and businesses after a catastrophic event occurs,” said Steven Slovak , a Texas regional manager and production underwriter at Orchid Insurance, a specialty underwriter of coastal risks from Texas to Massachusetts.
Nicholas made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane in mid-September near Sargent, Texas, with sustained winds of 75 mph. The 19th named storm to make landfall in the United States since May 2020, brought wind damage, heavy rain, and flooding across the Gulf Coast.
Since Orchid opened its doors in 1998, the leading specialty underwriter of catastrophe-exposed insurance for residential and commercial properties has provided coverage during more than 60 named storms in some of the riskiest places on earth.
“We protect the homeowners and business owners who really need insurance the most – the hurricane-prone areas where many carriers are not willing to take on such risk,” said Slovak. “Much of our business today includes difficult and high-capacity risks, some without restrictions on distance-to-coast in regions that have a shared history for severe weather.”
Slovak said it is essential that agents understand the nuances of wind-only insurance, a specialty product that Orchid offers homeowners to cover damage to property and personal belongings from wind and hail events.
“Coastal property owners are familiar with severe weather — especially during hurricane season; but it is the obligation of an agent to present the coverage options that are able to mitigate their risks,” said Slovak. “Wind coverage should be part of any discussion. If windstorm coverage is not required, it’s up to the agents to know the option is a ‘must-add’ to a standard policy if they want to ensure their clients have enough insurance to pay for the full cost of repairing a home or business.”
The NOAA outlook complements the forecast made by researchers at Colorado State University in early April, which called for an above-average season with 17 named storms. That contrasts against an average of a dozen per year. The United Kingdom Met Office, which oversees weather forecasts across the United Kingdom, anticipates a near to slightly above-average season.
“No matter what the experts predict, it’s important to remember that one storm can devastate an entire community,” said Slovak. “We encourage property owners to prepare now.”
Orchid Underwriters Insurance, LLC, is the First Choice for catastrophic-exposed property insurance. If you need flexible products, fast processes, expert underwriting and competitive pricing, superior customer service is a phone call away at 1-866-370-6505 or visit https://orchidinsurance.com/