Home Insurance. Thursday , March 01st , 2018 - 10:42:53 AM
The first, and easiest, step for policyholders to avoid an unpaid natural disaster claim is to call their insurance agent or company and ask about their coverage. If a policyholder is in an area where hurricanes are prevalent, they should be asking questions specific to hurricane scenarios. Are they covered in the event of water damage from a flood? What about wind damage? What are the policy’s limits on rebuilding or repairing? Additionally, the consumer should confirm that the full value of their home is properly insured.
Loretta Worters, a spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group, said some insurers include the dollar value of the deductible, along with the applicable percentage, to eliminate confusion. A hurricane deductible is distinct from the deductible for other sorts of damage to the home and usually goes into effect when a storm is categorized as a hurricane by the National Weather Service — or, in some cases, when a storm is named, even if doesn’t become a hurricane. (Some policies have separate windstorm deductibles that apply even for unnamed storms.)
Most homeowner insurance policies for coastal properties now have separate deductibles for damage caused by hurricanes, and the amounts are usually based on a percentage of the home’s insured value, rather than a flat dollar fee. Details of a policy’s hurricane deductible will typically be explained on the policy’s “declarations” page. Ms. Bach suggests that consumers call their insurance agent if they don’t fully understand what their policy requires, so they can plan for out-of-pocket costs in the event of a storm.
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