We’re in the peak of the busiest Hurricane season in years. Is your home properly insured?
The Atlantic coast hurricane season lasts from June through November, with the likelihood of storms peaking from August to October. The East Coast and Gulf Coast are most at risk, though damage from wind and rain can extend well inland.
Homeowners should assess insurance needs long before a hurricane makes landfall. Most insurers won’t issue policies when a storm is imminent. The cost of hurricane insurance depends on a number of factors including where you live, what your house is worth, and how high a deductible you’re willing to pay.
Call Brightway, The Sterner Agency for a Quote Today 407-891-9361
What’s Covered by Insurance?
Hurricane coverage varies by state. In general, homeowners insurance will cover damage from wind and wind-driven rain. So if high winds rip off your shingles and water penetrates through the roof, the damage is usually covered. Read your policy carefully, and look for any limitations on wind and water damage.
The fine print is especially important because an increasing number of insurers are excluding damage from hurricanes altogether, says Frank Darras, an insurance attorney in Ontario, Calif. Homeowners in states like Florida, Texas, and Louisiana may need to purchase homeowners insurance with supplemental hurricane coverage. Alternatively, it may be advisable to buy separate windstorm and flood policies.
Even homeowners policies that don’t exclude hurricanes will typically exclude damage from floods caused by rising water. Rising water can result from ground-water surge, tidal surge, or overflowing lakes and rivers. Flood insurance is available to most homeowners through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Homeowners at the greatest risk from high winds should check with their state insurance commissioner to help determine what additional coverage is needed. States threatened by hurricanes usually operate high-risk insurance pools that offer hurricane coverage, says George Sterner, head of Brightway Insurance in Lake Nona, Orlando, Fla.
Review Your Policy Now
Don’t wait until the last minute to determine your needs. Some policies have a waiting period before they go into effect. And once a tropical storm is named or a hurricane watch declared, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to purchase a policy to cover that particular storm. Set aside a day to review your current policy and get quotes on additional coverage. Call Brightway, The Sterner Agency 407-891-9361