Have Enough Insurance to Cover Damage from Hurricanes?
If you live near the Gulf Coast or the Atlantic Ocean, make sure your homeowners insurance policy provides enough coverage to help you recover from storm damage. Hurricane season usually lasts six months from June through to the end of November. Each year there are an average of 11 storms severe enough to get names, including six hurricanes, with two of them becoming major storms. When you get a home insurance quote, make sure you have enough protection to rebuild your home and replace your belongings after a windstorm or hurricane.
Standard homeowner policies usually cover your property and possessions from such losses as damage and theft. They also typically protect your house and your belongings against damage from such natural causes as tornadoes, windstorms, hail and lightning. However, if you live in an area that is likely to be hit by a hurricane or a severe windstorm, your home insurance policy may not cover your damage. Review your policy and talk to your insurance agent to find out more about your wind coverage.
And remember, home insurance policies don’t cover damage from earthquakes or floods. So, if you also live in an earthquake zone or a flood plain, you will have to buy additional insurance. Be aware that your wind insurance policy won’t cover flood damage and your flood insurance policy won’t cover wind damage. After a storm, your insurance company will send an inspector to your home to determine what natural disaster caused your damage.
In many coastal states, insurers sell homeowners insurance policies with percentage deductibles for storm damage instead of the traditional dollar deductibles commonly used to cover losses from fire damage and theft. In 18 states, insurance regulators allow home insurance policies to include hurricane deductibles tied to a percentage of a home’s insured value, rather than a flat dollar amount, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
With a standard policy with a $500 standard deductible, a policyholder would pay the first $500 of the claim out of pocket. But with a policy with a percentage deductible of 2 percent on a house insured for $100,000, a policyholder would pay the first $2,000 of a claim. Percentage deductibles typically vary from 1 percent of a home’s insured value to 5 percent, according to the Insurance Information Institute. In some coastal areas with high wind risk, hurricane deductibles may be higher. Some are even mandatory. Check with your state’s department of insurance or an insurance agent for details about wind damage and hurricane deductibles, before you get a home insurance quote.
To make the issue even more complicated, there are two kinds of wind damage deductibles: hurricane deductibles, which apply to damage solely from hurricanes, and windstorm or wind/hail deductibles, which apply to any kind of wind damage. Eighteen coastal states as well as the District of Columbia have hurricane deductibles. Those states include Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
Some states have set up state-run pools to provide insurance to homeowners who live in high risk areas and are unable to buy insurance in the private market. Some plans are for specific coastal areas, while others offer insurance throughout the state. Once again, check with your state’s insurance department or your insurance agent for details, before you get a home insurance quote.
Remember when you buy a homeowners or a renters policy, you’re insuring the structure of your home and your personal belongings in your home. Once you have determined the best coverage for your family’s needs, you’re ready to obtain a home insurance quote. Call agents in your local area, contact several insurance companies directly or use InsuranceQuotes.com to instantly get a competitive insurance quote from the nation’s leading insurance providers. Take the time to protect you and your family today.