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Hurricane Insurance

Hurricane Insurance

 

Hurricane Insurance

Hurricanes are the single most destructive weather phenomena around. High hurricane winds can destroy homes, either directly or indirectly as objects are whipped up and smashed into the surrounding properties. These storms can cause devastating flooding, ruining properties and destroying the livelihoods of many, many families every year. Please note that you are not covered for flooding unless you have flood insurance.

Hurricane insurance rates are on the rise again which is bad news all around. As well as raised hurricane insurance rates, many insurance companies are also increasing the percentage of deductibles on their policies, and even refusing to offer hurricane insurance to people who live in high risk areas.

 

Am I Covered if I Have Homeowners Insurance?

Some hurricane damage will be covered by your regular personal property insurance and some of it won’t. Hurricanes are more and more frequent, meaning that insurance companies are beginning to exclude any damage which was caused by a hurricane. If this is the case, you may need to buy additional hurricane insurance coverage. The time is NOW to check your homeowners insurance policy and see exactly where you stand before the next hurricane strikes.

Even if you do have hurricane coverage, you’ll still need to stash a bunch of cash in order to be really protected. The deductibles involved for hurricane related damage are pretty high these days and they are generally a percentage of the value of your home. For example, if your house insurance value is $150,000 and your hurricane insurance deductible rate is 1%, then you’ll need a stash of $1,500 if a hurricane strikes. However, many hurricane insurance deductible rates are now as high as 5% which means you’ll need $7,500 instead.

 

What Does Hurricane Insurance Cover?

Hurricane insurance is usually limited to damage caused by winds, so any damage due to other factors like storm surge or other types of flooding will not be covered. In order to become fully protected, you need to also have flood insurance to cover potential water damage.

Bear in mind also that flood insurance may cover the water damage to your property and personal belongings but any alternative living arrangements will not be covered. If you and your family have to move out of your house for a while until the repairs are finished,  then you’ll need to include that in your hurricane insurance coverage.

 

How To Buy Hurricane Insurance

Before you try and find some hurricane insurance, the first thing you should do is to check your basic homeowners insurance policy. You’ll probably find that there is some hurricane coverage included. If it does offer any hurricane coverage, it’ll probably be just for hurricane damage caused by wind in the storms — not from the gallons of water that often comes as well. In order to really protect your property, you will need to take out homeowners insurance with an additional flood insurance policy.

 

Hurricane Insurance Premiums vs. Hurricane Insurance Deductibles

Hurricane insurance deductibles are on the rise. What you’ll have to decide is whether you’re willing to chance higher deductibles in return for lower premiums. Depending on your insurance company, you might not even have a choice.

Whatever hurricane insurance policy you decide upon, make sure that you know exactly what is and what is not covered before the hurricane season. Some hurricane insurance policies have upper limits on the cost that will be covered for replacement items. This might not seem to be too much of a problem… unless of course your house is destroyed and needs to be rebuilt from scratch.

 

Do You Need Hurricane Insurance?

The world of hurricane insurance is pretty unique. The problem with hurricane insurance is that hurricanes can do all sorts of damage in all sorts of different ways, and your regular house insurance might cover you and your property against some hurricane damage but not cover you for other types of hurricane induced damage.

 

Why Is Hurricane Insurance So Tricky

Private home-owners insurance policies do not include flooding, so if your house floods because of a hurricane, many policies will not cover the damages. Private home-owners insurance policies, however, very often include damage which might be caused by high hurricane winds and wind damage.

If your house suffers water damage because of a hurricane, having flood insurance can help you recoup your losses. Many private home-owner insurance policies deal with the hurricane problem through special deductibles which are kept completely separate from the general deductibles which are set aside for other types of damage.

 

Flood Insurance – A Type of Hurricane Insurance

Right then, we’ve established that many home-owners insurance policies will cover you for wind damage during a hurricane and flood insurance will cover you for flood damage caused by a hurricane.

Only 15% of Americans have flood insurance.Flood insurance policies aren’t simple because they can be divided into two separate types of insurance policy: you can get flood insurance for buildings or you can get flood insurance for personal property. If you don’t have hurricane insurance but do have flood insurance, then you should be able to claim at least a part of water damage from a hurricane.

A building flood insurance policy gives you cover against hurricane water damage to the structure of your property, including the foundations and the exterior. Some permanent and semi-permanent fixtures and fittings indoors may also be covered – carpets, built-in appliances, heating and cooling systems, etc.

A personal property flood insurance policy will provide cover against portable items which are damaged because of a flood, even if the flood is caused by a hurricane. This includes items like clothing, furniture, electronics, personal appliances, artwork, artifacts, etc.

The price of your flood insurance (which, remember, can help to pay for water damages caused by a hurricane) depends largely on where you live. If you live in a high risk flood zone then you’ll pay more for your insurance than you do if you live in what is regarded as a low risk flood zone.

People who live in coastal areas are, not surprisingly, classed as living in high risk hurricane flood areas, and premiums for flood insurance in those areas starts from less than $600 for around $45,000 for both personal property and building damage. Visit the National Flood Insurance Program for more up to date information and more details about prices and options for hurricane flood damage.

 


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