Homeowners Insurance and Natural Disasters
When it comes to damage from a natural disaster, do you know what your home insurance policy covers? Are you certain that you have the right type and amount of coverage for your home? Now’s a great time to look over your home insurance policy and ensure that it fulfills all of your needs.
How much is your home insured for? If it suffers major damage from a storm, will you be able to afford to repair it? There is a difference between the value of a home and the cost of repairs, particularly following a major natural disaster.
Some forms of homeowners insurance include coverage for living expenses. This coverage is generally intended for the extra expenses that come along with needing to stay somewhere else while your home is fixed, such as the cost of a hotel room.
Once you’ve filled out the Home Inventory List below, take a moment to total up the value of all your personal property. Does the personal property coverage component of your homeowners insurance cover all of these items adequately? If not, consider increasing your coverage. Be sure to document the value of your possessions accurately and thoroughly, and consider taking photos of items as well.
For many homeowners, including those living in flood-prone areas, flood insurance isn’t optional: it’s mandatory. That said, flood insurance is a good investment for practically every household.
A standard homeowners insurance policy is often not designed to provide coverage for flood-based damage. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that you have a dedicated flood insurance policy for your home.
The federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program makes flood insurance affordable for many homeowners. However, most flood insurance policies can’t be purchased immediately before a hurricane, as they generally include a mandatory waiting period before they go into effect.
Call your insurance agent to learn more about your options.
Some homeowners policies come with what’s called a hurricane deductible. In order to utilize your homeowners insurance coverage for damage suffered from a hurricane, you’ll need to first account for the hurricane deductible using your own funds.
As with other forms of insurance, a higher deductible makes for a lower premium (and vice-versa). Be sure to consider what’s feasible for you in the event of a natural disaster: don’t choose a deductible that you could never afford to pay simply in order to reduce your monthly premium.