On the first day of hurricane season each year, local governments encourage coastal residents to make an emergency plan for their families. One step that some people overlook while preparing for disaster is to review their homeowners insurance. Here are seven facts about home insurance policies that everyone should keep in mind during this time of year.
You Can’t Wait Until the Last Minute To Buy Homeowners Insurance
Unlike tornados and monsoons that strike without warning, hurricanes give several days’ notice before landfall. However, you should not wait until a storm arrives to purchase or upgrade your homeowners insurance coverage. Most companies will not sell a policy within a few days of a significant weather event.
You Only Have as Much Coverage as You Purchase
Compare your coverage to the current cost of building a new home in your neighborhood. If your liability limits are below this amount, consider asking your insurance agent to raise them. The slight increase to your monthly premium may be worth the expense if a hurricane destroys your home.
Your Policy Might Have a Deductible for Wind Damage
Wind damage is the primary risk during hurricane season for those living inland. Because this type of damage is so common, many home insurance policies have a deductible. Homeowners must pay this cost before the company writes a check for additional repairs.
Flood Insurance Is a Separate Policy
Some people erroneously assume that property insurance covers flooding during a hurricane. The truth is that most mortgage companies require customers who live within flood zones to maintain additional flood insurance. This coverage is in addition to their regular homeowner policy.
Protection From Raw Sewage Requires Extra Insurance
One of the most unglamorous situations people experience in the aftermath of a hurricane is that of backed-up sewage. When heavy rainfall saturates the ground, water from your septic tank can overflow from the toilets into the house. Talk to your insurance agent about whether you can add protection from this hazard to your policy.
You Can Earn Discounts
When evaluating your homeowners insurance amidst hurricane season, consider potential discounts you might receive for making your home hurricane-ready. For example, the State of Florida requires insurance companies to provide financial incentives to customers whose homes have the following types of mitigation structures:
- Hurricane shutters
- Pyramidal roof shape
- Roof-to-wall connections
- Roof coverings that meet specific standards
Homeowners Insurance Is Not Optional
While it is not technically illegal to go without coverage for a house you already own, doing so leaves you solely responsible for any damages that occur. It also exposes you to the liability of someone getting hurt while visiting your property during a storm.
Knowing you have financial protection from devastating damage to your home can help you deal with the stress of waiting for the next hurricane to hit. However, limits to what a company will pay for exist, so re-evaluating your existing homeowners insurance is a good idea. Read through your policy on a sunny day before hurricane season begins.
About Provident Protection Plus
For more than 65 years, Provident Protection Plus has served the businesses and residents across several states nationwide. Today, we are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Provident Bank, the region’s premier banking institution. To learn more about our coverage options, contact our specialists today at (888) 990-0526.