08 Jun Hurricane Season Is Here! Do You Have Enough Coverage?
When it comes to hurricanes, Florida sure is a big target. The state has witnessed 117 hurricanes, far more than any other state in the U.S. Hurricanes can cause massive destruction, including structural damage, shattered windows, downed trees and flooding – all these consequences leave homeowners with significant expenses and repairs. This is where insurance plays a major role.
As hurricane season is once again upon Florida, it is very important for homeowners to be fully aware of what their insurance policies cover. Insurance deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses may also be required. There is no insurance that can cover all the hurricane damage your home could be exposed to. For complete coverage, you will need a combination of homeowners, windstorm and flood insurance policies. This is especially important for those living in coastal areas.
Which Insurances Will You Need?
Homeowners Insurance: Your home is your most valuable property, which is why you need homeowners insurance to protect it. A typical homeowners policy covers damages to your roof, windows and outbuildings (such as a detached garage or shed), and also covers your home for fire, lightning, wind, vandalism, explosions and theft. However, it does not cover flooding, which is why a flood insurance should be purchased separately, through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Flood Insurance: A flood insurance policy covers physical damage to your property and possessions from floods or flood-related losses due to rising water in high-risk areas. A flood policy comes with a 30-day waiting period from the time of purchase before it goes into effect. Damages done to your decks, pools, walkways, landscape are not covered by this policy. Though the government determines flood insurance coverage and premiums, you can purchase your NFIP flood policy through Strassman Insurance Group – even if you don’t have an existing property policy with us.
Windstorm Insurance: Windstorm insurance covers damages done to your home and personal belongings. By purchasing this policy, you will be allowed to make claims for storm damages like downed trees, shattered windows and rain entering your home as a result of roof damages caused by strong severe winds.
Florida Hurricane Deductibles
A deductible is the amount of loss paid by the policyholder before any loss is paid by the insurer. To limit their financial risk, insurance companies in coastal areas demand higher percentage-based deductibles for hurricane damages. Hurricane percentage deductibles typically range between 2-percent and 5-percent, but since Florida is a hurricane-prone state, the deductibles are at a higher rate of 10-percent.
For example, if your home is insured for $500,000 and you have a 5-percent deductible, you will be responsible for the first $25,000 of repairs.
In Florida, your hurricane deductible is applied on an annual basis. Even if you have to submit several claims due to multiple storms, you only have to pay one hurricane deductible within the calendar year, provided you are insured with the same insurance company.
While some companies don’t offer lower hurricane deductible options and other companies won’t allow lowering hurricane deductibles nor buybacks, Strassman Insurance Group gives you a 0-percent hurricane deductible that can pair with your current homeowners insurance policy.
Hurricane-Resistant Home Improvements
There are several home improvements that can better protect your home from hurricane damage.
Installing a metal roof: A roof is the most vulnerable part of your house, as it is constantly exposed to wind and rain. Installing a metal roof is your best option because metal can withstand a hurricane’s high wind speeds.
Installing impact windows: If you live in Florida, impact windows and sliding glass doors are essential. Strong and durable, they are built to keep heavy rain, hurricane-force winds and flying objects from shattering your windows.
Replacing your doors: An average door can be easily knocked down by items flying at hurricane-force velocity. This can cause a lot of damage, and could also lead to flooding. Replace wood doors with hurricane-impact doors, which are made of fiberglass and may include impact glass in their design.
Landscaping your yard: Regular landscaping and yard maintenance can prevent damages to your home during hurricane season. Cleaning the gutters, pruning trees and bushes, and cutting loose tree branches are all measures you should take before a hurricane strikes.
Updating Your Insurance
If you’re looking to make hurricane-proof improvements to your home as well as other remodeling projects, you are increasing your home’s value, and therefore increasing your insurance coverage amount. Your homeowners insurance policy covers your home’s current value and square footage. Let your insurer know about any upgrades to maximize your protection, or else your home may be insured for less than its market value.
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, understanding what your homeowners insurance will and will not cover will help you buy the right amount of coverage. A combination of policies will best protect your home and your family against hurricane damages.
At Strassman Insurance Group, we ensure that we continue to provide the best possible customer service. We contact each policyholder once a year to review their current policy. Make sure you inform us about any home improvements so we can update your insurance and guarantee your coverage. Contact us today!