Hurricane season is officially upon us, and it’s time to make sure you’re ready. Check your insurance policy to see if you have the coverage you need. Do whatever you can to protect your home from damage. Below, we will discuss what you should look for in your insurance policy as well as how to prepare your home before a hurricane hits. A public insurance adjuster can help you with both tasks.
5 Things to Check in Your Policy
Having the right insurance policy can help you and your family recover from damages caused by a hurricane. Your policy should cover common types of storm damage, such as wind or flooding. Here are five things to check in your policy:
Make sure you are familiar with your deductibles for wind and flood damage. Some policies have a hurricane deductible. This separate deductible applies only to damage caused by hurricanes. It is usually a percentage of your home’s insure value, and it may be higher than your regular deductible.
Check your policy to see if you have a hurricane deductible and how much it is. If you’re not sure, ask your insurance agent or company.
2. Coverage Limits
Your policy could have coverage limits for wind, flood, and other types of damage. These limits are the maximum amount your insurer will pay for each type of damage. Make sure your limits are high enough to cover the cost of repairs or replacement.
You can usually increase your coverage limits by buying additional insurance, such as a hurricane or flood policy.
Some types of damage, such as earthquake damage, are usually not covered by homeowners insurance. Make sure you know what’s excluded from your policy, so you’re not surprised if your claim is denied.
If you need coverage for something that’s exclude from your policy, you can usually buy it as an endorsement or a separate policy. For example, you can buy earthquake insurance to cover damage from earthquakes.
Check your policy for exclusions and ask your agent or company about coverage for excluded perils.
4. Replacement Cost vs. Cash Value
Most policies will pay to repair or replace your home and belongings if dame is because of a covered peril. But there are two different types of coverage: replacement cost and actual cash value.
Replacement cost pays to replace your property with similar property of like kind and quality, without deduction for depreciation. Actual cash value pays to repair or replace your property, minus depreciation.
Replacement cost coverage is usually more expensive, but it can be worth the extra payment because it will pay to repair or replace your property without a depreciation deduction. Make sure your policy has replacement cost coverage for both your home and belongings.
If you have actual cash value coverage, you may want to consider buying additional insurance to cover the cost of replacing your property.
5. Additional Living Expenses
If your home is uninhabitable after a disaster, your policy should pay for additional living expenses, such as temporary housing and food. These expenses are typically cover up to a certain limit, and they’re in addition to your policy’s coverage limits.
Make sure you know your policy’s limit for additional living expenses. If you need more coverage, you can usually buy it as an endorsement or a separate policy.
Some policies also have a loss-of-use provision, which pays for additional living expenses if your home is not habitable but is still standing. This provision is typically included in replacement cost policies.
7 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season
In addition to checking your policy, there are also some things you should check in your home leading up to hurricane season.
- Install hurricane shutters: Shutters can protect your windows from wind and flying debris.
- Keep trees and shrubs well-trimmed: Overgrown trees and shrubs may lose sharp, heavy limbs that could damage your home in high winds.
- Install a generator: A generator can keep your lights and appliances running if the power goes out.
- Obtain an emergency kit: Your kit should include food, water, a first-aid kit, and other supplies.
- Develop an action plan: Make sure you and your family know what to do if a hurricane is heading your way.
- Review your insurance policy: Check your insurance policy to know beforehand whether it will cover the cost of repairs or replacement.
- Review your coverage: Take time to review and understand what’s covered and what’s excluded.
Why Work with a Public Insurance Adjuster
In the event of a hurricane, you will want to feel safe in your home or to feel safe knowing that you are financially protected from significant damages. Taking the time to check your insurance policy and make sure you have the coverage you need can help you prepare for hurricane season. A public insurance adjuster can help you understand your policy and make sure you have the coverage you need. They will also be able to help you file a claim and get the compensation you deserve.
If your home is damaged or destroyed by a hurricane, you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company. Your public insurance adjuster can help you navigate the claims process and make sure you get the appropriate compensation.