Letters

Hurricane insurance matters 

Dear Editor,

Why does insurance coverage matter in this new climate change era?

Unfortunately, flooding like what we had this weekend will be the norm rather than the exception. My useful advice to you is to make sure to take the opportunity to call any one of the insurance companies within The Bahamas if you need any hurricane insurance (life, home, auto, marine, business, aviation, etc.).

Most experts predict that this upcoming hurricane season will be another active one. I know that hurricane and homeowners’ insurance are expensive, but I beg you to consider the alternative.

I am an author of 15 books on hurricanes (most of them on hurricanes impacting The Bahamas), and I have interviewed thousands of Bahamian victims affected by the various hurricanes over the years.

It breaks my heart to interview them about their experiences with the different storms, and looking at their totally demolished home or business or a wrecked boat or destroyed vehicle, and ask them if they have any insurance to bring their lives back to some degree of normalcy, and many times they tell me no.

Sometimes, their $200,000 to $300,000 home is destroyed by the hurricane, and often they tell me that they will have to rebuild out of their pockets. The solution to this problem is hurricane insurance, and when you take out insurance with any of the companies, make sure you take out some flood insurance.

No one will tell you this, but the climate change era is no longer on the horizon; it is here and is staring us directly in the face.

Today, with the rise in sea level, the water table is much higher to the surface than it used to be like 20 to 30 years ago, and that means it takes much less water to flood the ground and the surface than years ago.

As a professional meteorologist, I have personally seen more areas with severe flooding than, say, 15 to 20 years ago.

I know many people blame the different governments over the years for not cleaning the drains on a timely basis.

Sadly, in most cases, that has not been the case because I saw, under both governments, that they cleaned the drains, and the following week, we had heavy rainfall in the same location where the drains were previously cleaned, and the areas were still flooded.

I think there are other contributing factors like cutting down most of the hills and trees for the sake of development, but that is another topic for another time.

With most weather experts predicting an above-average hurricane season, now is the ideal time to take out that insurance to protect yourself, your family and your personal and business properties, should we experience another destructive hurricane.

Gone are the days when the government and Bahamian public at large could ignore the weather.

Storms like Hurricane Dorian and other “freak” weather events like what occurred over the weekend are no longer the exception, but the “new” norm.


Wayne Neely

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