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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Hurricane Defined for Insurance

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Sep 19, 2019 @ 01:06 PM

    Prepare yourself for storms with hurricane insurance from andrew gordon incIn the aftermath of Dorian, the question remains: what makes a storm a hurricane?

    The answer to this question is a significant indicator as to how claims are handled by insurance carriers.

    So, let us determine what constitutes a hurricane.  Here are some of the conditions that must be met:

    1) Low pressure system.

    2) Warm temperatures over the ocean.

    3) Moist environment (precipitation).

    4) Tropical wind patterns over the equator.

    Once these conditions are met, a hurricane must have sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or more. The eye of the storm is usually 20 to 30 miles wide and the storm itself may extend up to 400 miles across. The inherent dangers of this type of storm are torrential rains, high winds and tidal surges (super high tides). A hurricane can last for two weeks or more over open water and run a path the length of the Eastern seaboard, from the Caribbean to Nova Scotia.

    What caused of Hurricane Dorian to stall over the Bahamas?

    When a hurricane moves, the time spent in any particular area is limited.  But when it stalls, as Dorian did over Great Abaco for over 36 hours, the devastation continues. The damge Hurricane Harvey caused in Houston was not so much the wind, but the 52" of rain that fell in 48 hours after Harvey's landfall.  Hurricanes break apart, or move, when upper level air, the air above the hurricane's most violent force, prevents storm air from rising.  Strong air movement above the hurricane creates shear, disrupting the pattern of spinning storm.  We like upper atmospheric shear on a hurricane.  Similarly, continental high pressure from land (westerly) also pushes hurricanes out to sea limiting damage to homes and businesses.  We also like high pressure from the west, southwest or northwest.  

    On average, 100 tropical storms develop each year between May and November over the Atlantic Ocean.  Only six eventually develop into hurricanes and of these six, two are likely to strike the coast of the United States. The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30 of each year, with the most active time being from mid-August through mid-October.  The winter hurricane threat is virtually non-existent.

    For homeowners living near the coast, having wind or named storm deductibles is common.  For more about these - and which is the better among evils - visit our Named Storm vs. Windstorm deductibles page

    If you have any other insurance questions, please contact us here at Gordon Atlantic Insurance. We'll help you understand any confusing definitions or tricky aspects of insurance.  We make insurance make sense.

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    Tags: personal, hurricane, insurance, definition, storm, wind, sandy

    Insurance Vocabulary

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Mar 08, 2013 @ 08:28 AM

    Learn your insurance vocab with Andrew gordon incEvery business has its own jargon- that is, language that pertains to only those in the business. These esoteric words can sometimes be confusing to an outsider, and let's not pretend that we are included in everything. We are the outsiders when it comes to many different professions, and even more so when you think about all the different careers and business out there. Each one is different.

    One unifying thing about insurance is that everybody needs it. Nobody lives a risk-free life where accidents NEVER happen. That's why even though you may not work in the insurance business, it's important to understand insurance vocabulary. You're paying for it, so you should at least know what you are buying and understand certain descriptions that may be written in your policy.

    Need-to-know words

    • Claim- The formal request by a policy holder or claimant to be paid under the terms of the insurance policy.
    • Deductible- An excluded amount or threshold for payment on an insurance policy. A $500 deductible would mean the insurance policy will start paying after they have deducted the first $500 they owe you.
    • Effective Date- The first day of a policy term. Denotes the beginning of the insurance coverage.
    • Named Insured- The person or persons designated as the insured in an insurance policy.
    • Peril- The cause of a loss. Examples of perils are fire, wind, an accident and acts of vandalism.
    • Policy- A formal contract outlining the terms and conditions of the insurance provided by an insurance carrier.
    • Premium- The amount you are asked to pay for an insurance policy.
    • Renewal- A new policy which replaces one that is expiring or cancelled.

    Insurance

    Let's end our little vocabulary lesson with the actual definition of insurance:

    "A contract by which one undertakes to indemnify another or to pay a specified amount upon determinable contingencies."

    Or, in plainer English:

    "A written agreement between and insurance company and an individual where the insurance company will pay for damage or loss upon certain fulfillments or requirements."

    We do have an Insurance Glossary right here on our website if you have any questions about what any of the policies mean. If you cannot find a word in our glossary, feel free to contact us. We will provide you with the correct definition and explain any questions you may have regarding your policy. Any other insurance questions? Click the button below. Learn more about personal insurance here.

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    Tags: language, words, jargon, dictionary, vocabulary, meanings, insurance, definition

    Redefining Risk

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Feb 01, 2013 @ 08:00 AM

    Learn about risk with andrew gordon inc insuranceRisk. Danger. Peril. Hazard. These words certainly do not have the best connotations. In fact, it's next to impossible to use these words to express something positive. After all, risk is a possibility of loss.

    Did you know that every single action you do carries some form of risk? Whether it's walking up the stairs, folding some laundry, or eating a bite of that delicious ice cream sundae (see right), each and every action has some possible form of risk.

    Severity of Risk

    Ok, so the examples above are pretty mild when it comes to risk. If you are an optimist, I encourage you to think of the positives. If you are a pessimist, try not to get too paranoid. But here are several outcomes that can happen when walking up the stairs:

       1. You walk up the stairs safely with no issue.

       2. You stub your toe on the steps. (Ouch!)

       3. You trip and fall up the stairs, embarrassed and slightly injured.

       4. You fall backwards and break something important (like an arm).

    Ok, so we only have four of any number of possible outcomes that can occur while walking up the stairs. While, if you walk up stairs often, the first outcome is the most likely (let's say 99% of the time), you cannot ignore the other 1% of possible outcomes.

    Likelihood of Risk

    So now that you've opened your mind to some of the several possibilities that could happen to you when walking up the stairs, turn your attention to other things, like car accidents and hurricanes.

    If you are a licensed driver, how often do you drive? How good of a driver are you? How long is your commute, what type of roads do you drive on, and what type of drivers drive around you? All these (and more) are essential factors to determine your risk of driving on the road.

    We've all heard the statistics about car accidents, and in recent years storms have gotten a lot worse (Katrina, Sandy, Irene, etc.) causing billions of dollars worth of damage. Has that damage happened to you? No? Will it happen to you? Maybe.

    You can't predict when loss will occur. All you can do is know that you are always at risk. Will you live a risk-free life? The odds say that no, sometime in your life you will most definitely face loss. We don't know when that one (if it's only one) time will be. And depending on your lifestyle, you could be facing multiple instances of loss within a few years. You won't know until it happens.

    Reducing and Redefining Risk

    Here at Andrew G. Gordon, Inc., our job is risk management. We want to reduce the risk of your loss, and we have many ways for you to do so. For starters, we have a wide variety of checklists - (hurricane preparation, homeowner's) of steps for you to follow to reduce your loss. We also post a wide variety of blogs, which include several different safety tips and guides (ranging from pumpkin carving safety to motorcycle safety to skiing safety). For a more interactive experience, we also have our famous whiteboard videos.

    If you subscribe to our blog, watch a video every now and then, or check our website out once in a while, you are reducing your risk by educating yourself. However, to effectively reduce risk, what you learn must be put into action (i.e. actually stopping at a stop sign vs. knowing that you should stop at a stop sign).

    Unfortunately, risk can never be completely eliminated. However, reducing it to the smallest amount possible is by far the best option. By preparing, we redefine risk as something that even if it happens, there is minimal (if any) loss.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to click the button below to contact us directly. Learn more about personal insurance here.

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    Tags: risk, personal, insurance, definition, redefining, prevention, loss, math, statistics, probability

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