Hurricane season can be a scary season, and many really only think about a hurricane when there is a threat. That is when you’re frantically try to get ready and make sure you are prepared
June 1st through November 30th is hurricane season here in Florida. Some years are worse in terms of damage than others, this year many weather experts are predicting an unusually quiet year. Colorado State University has predicted no more than seven named storms this year, three of which will be hurricane-strength, but only one that’s a category 3 or higher.
The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) has created a checklist for property owners in hurricane regions which we’ve broken down for you below.
Is your policy limit enough to rebuild your home in the event of a loss?
The following homeowners coverages are add-ons to help protect customers against the costs of rebuilding a total loss:
- Extended Replacement Cost Policy – pays an additional 20% or more above the policy limits.
- Guaranteed Replacement Cost Policy – pays the full amount to rebuild your home whatever the ultimate cost.
- Inflation Guard – automatically adjusts the coverage limits to reflect changes in construction costs.
- Ordinance or Law Coverage – pays a specified amount for rebuilding to new building codes, should your community adopt stricter codes.
Do you know the value of everything you own?
Contact your agent to review your coverage A and see if changes need to be made.
I.I.I. says, “Most insurers provide coverage for personal possessions—approximately 50 to 70 percent of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home. Is this enough? The best way to determine what you actually need is to conduct a home inventory—a detailed list of your belongings and their estimated value.”
The group also suggests that customers check what type of insurance they have in place for their belongings, whether it is replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage.
You should also discuss with your agent special protection for collections , art, and guns.
Check to see if your policy provides enough Additional Living Expenses coverage?
This coverage will provide for basic living expenses in the event that an insured’s home is rendered uninhabitable by an insured disaster, including hotel costs, food costs and other expenses.
According to I.I.I.:
- “ALE coverage is generally equal to 20 percent of the amount of insurance coverage that you have on the structure of your house; however, most insurers offer the option of higher coverage limits and some only provide 10% as a default, so check your declaration pages.
What is the percentage of the hurricane/windstorm deductible stated in your policy?
“Insurers in every coastal state from Maine to Texas include separate deductibles for hurricanes and/or windstorms in their homeowners policies,” the I.I.I. writes. “Unlike the standard ‘dollar deductible’ on an auto or home policy, a hurricane or windstorm deductible is usually expressed as a percentage. It is clearly stated on the Declarations (front) page of your homeowners policy.”
These deductibles range from 1% to 5% percent of a home’s insured value, and only apply in the event of a specific type of natural disaster (a hurricane for a hurricane deductible and high winds for a windstorm deductible).
Be sure you have additional hurricane coverage if you have a screened enclosure or carport.
Do you know what your insurance policy covers?
According to the I.I.I., “standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for hurricanes, wind, theft, fire, explosion, lightning strikes and a host of other disasters.” However, watch for exclusions like flood or earthquake, which are not covered.
I.I.I. suggests the following additional coverages for customers in hurricane-prone areas:
- Sewer Back-Up Coverage – You can usually purchase for $50 for $5,000 worth of coverage.
- Flood Insurance
Flood insurance, do you have it?
According to I.I.I., 90% of all natural disasters include flooding, and hurricanes are most certainly on this list. As a result, a separate flood insurance policy is important for anyone who lives either in hurricane country or otherwise on a flood plain.
If you are a client of ours or you have your Homeowners Insurance with someone else. We are here to help and educate you.
Please contact us via phone, email or you can visit our website and request an agent to call you and make sure you have your check list in check.