Hurricane season begins June 1st and lasts until November 30th. Storm predictions change each year, but the 2017 season was the costliest year in US history with total damages close to $202.6 Billion. For the 2018 season we are expected to have 14 Named Storms, 7 Hurricanes of which 3 will be Major Hurricanes (Category 3 or higher). Here are some tips to better prepare you.
Does your insurance policy provide adequate coverage? There are several considerations when answering this question. First, does your policy cover your home for the actual rebuilding cost in today’s market? Remember the rebuilding cost can be VERY different from the market value of your home. Secondly, what is your deductible? Most homeowner’s policies in coastal regions provide a Hurricane or Windstorm deductible which is a % of the Dwelling value. Make sure you fully understand the dollar value of this deductible. Many times you can request a lower or higher deductible for a change in premium.
Do you have a Flood Insurance Policy? Most homeowner’s insurance policies strictly exclude any flood coverage as it must be purchased separately. You will want to understand the flood zone your home is located and determine the likelihood of flooding to occur.
Do not forget your personal property inside your home. It is recommended that you maintain an inventory of your belongings with any pictures, video footage and receipts. This is always helpful in the event of a loss in proving the value of your possessions.
What happens when you can no longer occupy your home after a loss? Your homeowner’s policy should provide Additional Living Expenses which would cover hotel, restaurant, etc. A typical policy will provide a limit that is 20% of your Dwelling value, however many times you can change this amount to better meet your needs.
In addition to being prepared with adequate insurance coverage, each household should have a plan for potential evacuation and/or power outages in the event of a major storm. Remember to keep necessary supplies on hand such as batteries, flashlights, prescriptions, water, non-perishable food items, and a First Aid Kit just to name a few. Now is the time to prepare!
- Melissa Shine, CIC – Vero Insurance Risk Advisor