The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season takes place from June 1 through November 30. With an increase in storms and damages from year to year, it’s more important than ever to make sure your assets are protected in the event of a storm event or hurricane. Many consumers delay purchasing or updating their hurricane coverage until a storm is approaching. However, most insurance companies will not issue coverage or allow changes to coverage when the NHC has named a storm, or one is on track for a particular region. So, now is the time to take appropriate actions to protect your property and belongings from potential damage.
Check the Details of Your Insurance Policy
In addition to the coverage in a standard homeowners policy, there are other coverages you may want to consider to shore up any gaps.
Windstorm Coverage. If you live in an area that typically experiences high-wind events, you may want to consider adding windstorm coverage. Like hurricane coverage, most policies will have a percentage deductible. Windstorm coverage applies whenever damage is caused by wind and covers some events that hurricane coverage does not. This type of policy does not cover other perils such as flooding and fire.
Flood Insurance. It’s a common misconception that flood damage is included in homeowners insurance policies, but that is not the case. Damage from stormwater, an overflowing body of water, or other similar events are not covered. FEMA estimates that just one inch of floodwater can cause up to $25,000 in damages, so a flood insurance policy is an essential protection for homeowners. If you live in a high-risk area for flooding, you may be required to have flood insurance. If not, it still may be a prudent consideration for your home or property. Remember that flood insurance policies take 30 days from your application date to activate, so purchasing this option in advance of the pending storm season is crucial.
Comprehensive & Collision Auto Coverage. If you’ve purchased an auto collision, you are protected from damage to your vehicle if you have a collision with another vehicle, person, or object, whether you or someone else is at fault. That includes flash flooding, falling trees, or other damages caused by a storm. For damage not caused by a collision, comprehensive coverage provides protection for hurricane-related events, storms, and other weather-related conditions.
Know Your Hurricane Deductible & Other Costs
In most high-risk states, homeowners insurance policies contain a percentage deductible for hurricane coverage, which typically averages between 1% and 5% of the home’s insured value. For example, if your home is worth $300,000 and you have a 5% hurricane deductible, you’re responsible for paying the first $15,000 in damages before coverage kicks in. If you’re unaware of what your hurricane deductible is, make sure you check your policy or contact your insurance advisor to be properly prepared for the season ahead.
Review your policy limits and consider whether you might need additional insurance. For example, does it cover the cost to rebuild your home? Does your policy include additional living expenses (ALE), and if so, for what period of time?
If the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is activated for a specific region as a result of catastrophic storm damage, funding could be issued for damage claims provided they fit within the requirements. However, it’s not guaranteed, and funds likely would not be available immediately after a hurricane hits and you need them most.
Update Your Policy to Reflect Your Insurance Needs
To safeguard your belongings ahead of an unpredictable hurricane season, review your current insurance policies and get with your insurance advisor to ensure you’re properly protected and prepared for whatever may come your way this season. Request a quote online or speak to an IOA advisor today by calling at 833.546.2872.
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