Collector-Vehicle Provider Uncovers ‘Hidden Lesson’ of Hurricane Season
[CHERRY HILL, NJ (June 26, 2006)] American Collectors Insurance, a national provider of collector-vehicle and collectibles insurance, pointed out the hidden lesson of hurricane season 2005: the simple failure of a garage door led to catastrophic damage to homes and vehicles.
Much hurricane damage in 2005 was caused by this scenario:
The negative-positive air pressures of a hurricane caused a “tug of war” on the garage door(s), the largest entry to the house.
The garage door collapsed.
The attic entry in the garage ceiling collapsed, damaging vehicles below.
The “tug of war” in the attic collapsed the roof of the home.
“Claims examiners tell us their maxim is: ‘Once a garage door gives, the house is in trouble,’” said Laura Bergan, director of marketing, American Collectors Insurance. “The garage door is vital to protecting vehicles and contents inside — but is essential to the house structure itself.”
The Florida Alliance for Safe Homes noted that 80 percent of residential hurricane wind damage starts with wind entry through the garage door.
American Collectors Insurance, which provides coverage for collector-vehicles and collectibles in 48 states, found that many collector-vehicle claims were minor compared with damage to the homes.
“The wind and water damage to a collector-vehicle in the garage was often part of a chain of events that ended in catastrophic damage to the entire house and property,” Bergan explained. “Customers who had collector-vehicle claims—for example, from trap doors in the garage attic that fell onto a collector-vehicle—were also dealing with the aftermath of significant hurricane damage to their homes.”
The center top of a garage door is often the weak point in a house. Garage doors can be shored up using special products, lumber, and/or hardware. The Federal Emergency Management Agency advises bracing garage doors to prevent hurricane damage.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season contained a record 28 storms, with 15 full-blown hurricanes. Of these, a record four of the seven “major” hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) hit the United States. NOAA has predicted that 13 to 16 named storms will develop this season, with eight to ten becoming hurricanes and four to six of those becoming major hurricanes.
On average, the Atlantic hurricane season produces 11 named storms, with six becoming hurricanes and only two becoming major hurricanes. Other wind and water damage comes from more than 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 2,500 floods and 1,000 tornadoes that affect the U.S. annually, NOAA said.
About American Collectors Insurance
American Collectors Insurance specializes in insurance for collector vehicles and collectibles. Based in Cherry Hill, NJ, and licensed in 48 states, American Collectors Insurance offers products directly to consumers, as well as through independent insurance agents and alliances with several major insurance organizations. For more information, visit www.AmericanCollectors.com or call (800) 620-5052.