One major hurricane is devastating enough, but when two huge storms strike within two weeks of one another, the result is catastrophic. Hurricane Harvey demolished parts of Texas and southwest Louisiana, destroying billions of dollars worth of property, and the economic impact of Irma is expected to reach $300 billion, including uninsured losses.
What is especially alarming is that many of these property owners don’t have hurricane insurance. Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline, with nearly 2.5 million homes in hazard zones, but only 42% of them are properly insured. Owners of the uninsured percentage will have to cover all costs of repairing and even rebuilding their homes out of their own savings.
If you are an uninsured homeowner facing an imminent storm, when is the last possible moment that you can buy hurricane insurance?
Is There a Deadline?
If you live in a storm-prone region, the sooner you protect your property, the better. You won’t be able to buy windstorm insurance once a hurricane is approaching or take out a policy afterwards and file a retroactive claim. Hurricane’s typically bring with them two types of perils, winds and floods, each of which need their own insurance policy and have their own guidelines regarding coverage waiting periods.
Do You Need Insurance?
If you live in a coastal county or any area that is routinely hit by hurricanes, get insurance as soon as possible to protect your assets. A good homeowner’s insurance policy will cover windstorm damage, but you are required to purchase flood insurance separately. You may have it already: federal law makes it mandatory to obtain coverage if you live in an area designated as a high risk flood zone (100-year flood zone, meaning that flooding has a 1% chance of being equaled or surpassed each year). FEMA has a database where you can input your address and find out if you are here. But if you don’t, contact an insurance agent long before storm season hits.
How Much Insurance Do You Need?
When you do take out insurance, make sure you get enough coverage to rebuild your home. The most important part of having any type of insurance is to be covered for what you need. As the news footage has shown, damages from hurricanes can leave your property uninhabitable, so the right amount of coverage is essential.
Keep Up Your Policy
It is deceptively easy to let an insurance policy lapse, especially if you haven’t had to use it. Don’t get caught in a situation where your policy lapses and you can’t get hurricane coverage because a named storm is on its way.
If you are a Florida homeowner, windstorm and flood insurance will give you peace of mind even if you don’t live in a high-risk area. Disaster can strike anywhere and anytime, which is why having the right coverage is so important. If you have any questions about insuring your property or want to check your current policy coverage, contact We Insure Agent Rick Leal today.