Thursday, June 9, 2016
Homeowners Needs to Take Another Look At their Insurance Coverage As Hurricane Season Starts
Homeowners needs to reexamine their insurance coverage annually, specially those who live in places that are heavily affected by tropical storms. They need to know if the cost of their premiums are shooting up, or if their deductibles have changed, or if they are entitled to new discounts.
This year it's really important to do that because it is expected that hurricane will be most active this year since 2012, according to forecasts released by The Weather Company.
These storms are already affecting the southeast United States. Tropical storm Bonnie battered the Carolinas over Memorial Day weekend, and Colin, which made landfall Monday and resulted in state of emergency declared.
Colin which packed a 50 mile-per-hour winds produces heavy rain, tornadoes and hail that battered residents along Florida's Gulf and Atlantic Coasts. The residents protect their property using sandbags. Officials distributed 13,000 sandbags to residents of Tampa, which has a history of flooding. Some residents have evacuated the area.
This why it is important to reevaluate their homeowners insurance policy. Let's assume that the replacement cost value of the property is correct, a homeowners policy will cover any wind damage caused by a hurricane. However, it will not cover damage due to flooding and homeowners need to be aware of whether they have a hurricane deductible.
Insurance companies sell policies with a hurricane deductible to limit their exposure to devastating storms. Usually, these hurricane deductible is much higher than the standard one for homeowners insurance policies. A total of 19 states have hurricane deductibles, and most of them don't have a set dollar amount but a percentage of the replacement cost value of a home. That can be huge depending on the damage incurred.
Insurers don't choose to have a hurricane deductible. This deductibles are incorporated in homeowners insurance at the discretion of the insurance company and are activated under the terms of the policy, usually when the National Hurricane Center issues a warning or names a tropical storm.
The Insurance Information Institute issue this different hurricane deductibles across the 19 states that have and it is posted on their website, or consumers can refer to their respective state's department of insurance for details on them.
The states with special storm deductibles include: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.