Home Insurance. Saturday , February 17th , 2018 - 10:53:03 AM
The Atlantic hurricane season is a little more than two weeks away, so now is a good time for homeowners along the coast to check their insurance coverage. The annual hurricane season runs for six months, from June through November. “A good place to start is your deductible,” said Amy Bach, executive director of United Policyholders, an advocacy group that works on behalf of consumers with insurance. “It’s really helpful to know what the dollar amount is.”
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.
Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have hurricane deductibles, according to the institute. Some states — including Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina — offer a tax deduction for money deposited in special catastrophe savings accounts, to help homeowners set aside funds for their hurricane deductibles. Some policies offer discounts if homeowners use reinforced shutters to protect windows, or use special clips or straps to help secure roofs during storms.
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