Thursday | June 30, 2016
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Letters 5-24-13

Natural disasters

Is hurricane insurance worth the cost?

Moore, Okla., had another devastating tornado 15 years ago, which brings the term “tornado alley” to mind. Yet most residents did not have tornado insurance.

Living at an elevation of 1,500 feet, I have to buy hurricane insurance each year. The Big Island has two mountains that create a wind shadow that provides us and other neighbor islands, except Kauai, protection.

Hurricanes lose their energy as they travel away from the ocean and likely damage comes from heavy rainfall, not high winds. Kauai has been hit by three recent hurricanes, the rest of Hawaii has no recorded history of hurricanes. In 1874, Honolulu was hit by a tropical storm that dropped 20 inches of rain, but no recorded high winds.

If your house was damaged by high rainfall because of a hurricane and you didn’t have flood insurance, good luck getting any insurance money. Insurance companies will gladly take some nonscientific classification that we are “hurricane susceptible” and require me to pay $513 dollars last year for a hurricane that’s not gonna happen; the true result to us is that we help spread the risk and help pay for insurance damage in areas like Oklahoma, Florida and Kauai that have realistic damage expectations.

Earthquake insurance, much more likely to be needed here, is either not available or prohibitively expensive.

Dick Sanford

Retired County of Hawaii building inspector


Memorial Day

Let’s remember what holiday is about

Based on some of the activities planned this weekend and in prior years, it seems some people should be reminded of what the Memorial Day holiday is for.

Memorial Day, a United States federal holiday, is a day for remembering the men and women who died serving in the U.S. armed forces.

It’s great to have “memorial days” to remember loved ones who have passed on, but Memorial Day is a day to honor those who died in our nation’s service.

See John Jacobson