Home Insurance. Thursday , February 22nd , 2018 - 12:38:30 PM
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.
Ms. Worters noted that standard homeowner policies don’t cover damage from floodwaters, even if it is caused by a hurricane’s storm surge. Homeowners must buy separate flood coverage, either through the National Flood Insurance Program or from private companies. There is often a waiting period (30 days, in the case of federal flood insurance) before flood policies take effect. Homeowners who want coverage beyond a standard flood policy can also consider extra insurance, available from excess or surplus lines insurers.
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.
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