Procrastination can be costly when it comes to hurricane preparedness. That’s why we, at Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting, want to be sure that you know to check your Florida hurricane insurance policies now and know what to look for. Take a look at the advice we give to homeowners living in Florida.
Know Your Coverage
Once a storm hits and causes damage to your home, it is too late to get the coverage you need. That’s why it is important to know what coverage you have and know what coverage you need. In addition to making sure you have adequate homeowners coverage to rebuild your home, you will also need specialized hurricane coverage.
Standard homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage. This is water damage caused by rising water. To determine if you need flood coverage, you can look at a map of your county that lists flood plain areas. For those within these areas, the National Flood Insurance Program offers insurance.
But do not wait to get this insurance. Flood insurance does not go into effect for 30-days after purchase. It’s already hurricane season, so if you don’t have this insurance, get it immediately or it will be too late.
You may also need windstorm damage if your policy has a windstorm exclusion. If your homeowner’s policy excludes wind damage, you’ll need a policy or rider to cover this peril.
Understand Your Policy
You do not want to think you are insured only to find out that you were mistaken. Check your policy for such things as:
- Peril exclusions
- Coverage limits on valuables
- Condo association coverage to know what you need to cover on your own
- Deductibles that will be your responsibility
- Separate hurricane deductibles
How Is Claim Payout Determined?
Your policy can determine payout in one of two ways: Replacement cost or actual cash value. Generally, homeowners policies pay actual cash value on the contents of your home up to the insured value. This means that they will pay you for replacing or repairing your property minus the depreciation. In other words, if you purchased a computer for $1,000 five years ago, actual cash value coverage will determine how much the computer is worth today.
You can choose to purchase replacement cost coverage. In this case, the insurance company will determine how much it will cost to purchase a computer of similar quality today.
You will also want to be certain that your policy covers additional living expenses (ALE), which covers expenses when the damage is great enough to displace the homeowners. These are expenses over and above what you would spend if you could stay in your home. These include:
Knowing what policies you have, what they cover, and what you will be responsible for is important – especially during hurricane season in Florida. If you have concerns about your policies, contact your Florida hurricane insurance company or give us a call. We can do an insurance audit to help you determine the best coverages based on your needs. Our experts are always ready to help you.