Storm Season Insurance Guide
Hurricane Season is from June 1st to November 30th, and we can’t stress enough how important it is to be prepared; for preparation is the best defense against disasters. As a restoration company we tend to stress heavily on physical preparation, such as checking your home for leaks, cracks, mold, or any hazards that can allow additional damage to occur should a storm hit. However another major preparation factor that NEEDS to be addressed is property insurance.
There are thousands of insurance policies out there, each with varying degrees of coverage and you’d be surprised at how few homeowners truly know their coverage. If you haven’t already, contact your local insurance agent and schedule a time to sit down and go over all of your coverage details- don’t wait till after you have a loss to check your insurance. When speaking with your agent, here are a few topics you should be sure to discuss and understand prior to storm season.
Understanding Your Deductible:
With property insurance there tend to be two different deductibles when it comes to storms. One is Hurricane deductible and the other is windstorm deductible. Insurers in every costal state include separate deductibles for hurricanes and/or windstorms in their homeowner’s policies.
A hurricane deductible is applied only to hurricanes, whereas a windstorm deductible applies to any type of wind. When speaking with your agent, be sure to understand how these deductibles affect your pay out, for it might be advisable to set aside additional funds incase you need to rebuild your home.
What Disasters Insurance Covers:
Its important to be knowledgeable of what disasters your insurance policy covers. Most standard homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for hurricanes, wind, theft, fire, explosions, lightning strikes, and many other disasters. However, all policies also list exclusions, with one of the more common exclusions being flooding. While many people might not feel flooding insurance is necessary, what they don’t know is that 90% of natural disasters (especially hurricanes) include some form of flooding. Living in Florida, flood insurance is a must.
Are Your Possessions Covered:
When analyzing your coverage, its important to make sure that your possessions are well insured. Your policy not only protects your home but all of your belongings, so be sure that your policy provides protection against loss or damage due to a hurricane. In order to ensure you have efficient coverage, we recommend that you determine the value of your possessions with a home inventory, so you know how much coverage you actually need.
Additional Living Expenses:
If a storm is to leave your home uninhabitable, its important to make sure that your policy provides enough coverage for additional living expenses such as hotel and food expenses.
Damage Mitigation Responsibilities:
Lastly but most importantly, if disaster is to strike your property you are responsible for taking necessary steps to prevent further damages. For example. should a hurricane cause roof damage or window damage allowing water to get into your home, you are responsible to do all you can to mitigate your losses. By performing such steps not only are the homeowners experiencing less of a loss, but it also reduces the expense that would be payable under the claim for insurance. If this step is not taken and you abandon your property after the storm and the damage grows worse due to your neglect, then you may find your claim denied by insurance which can result in a hefty out of pocket fee.