Hurricane Season Home Insurance Checkup
Hurricane season is on its way, and it will soon be time to start batten down the hatches. If you’ve been a Florida resident for a long time, you’re sure to be used to the challenges of the season. If you’re new to the state, you might not feel quite so confident. One of the tasks that everyone needs to remember to do, no matter how long they have lived in Florida, is a homeowner’s insurance checkup. It’s vital to do this before the storms begin so that you can ensure you have enough coverage. As well as helping to protect you and your home, doing this might get you a discount on your insurance rates.
Essential Reasons for an Insurance Checkup
Checking your insurance is your responsibility. No one is going to call you and remind you to do it. It’s up to you to check your policy and see what it covers so that when there’s a hurricane, you know you won’t be paying out of pocket. Are you sure you know what is in your policy? You checked it last year, and surely it could not have changed. Many insurance providers modify their policies, but you might not always be aware of the changes. That’s why it’s vital to double-check what yours covers. You might even have reduced your policy. Do not assume you are safe because of the relative quiet of the last decade. If you don’t have a copy of your policy’s rules, you can look online or request it from your insurance agent.
Here’s what you need to check on your policy to see if it’s adequate.
Insurance Coverage Limits
The most important matter is that your insurance will pay enough to cover severe damages. It’s great if it will cover a broken window or a hole in the roof but it’s not sufficient. Although your home might make it through a hurricane unscathed, there’s also the potential for disaster. If your property is destroyed and your insurance doesn’t cover it, you’ll be out of a home. Your coverage limits need to be enough to pay for rebuilding or repairing your home to make it liveable. You need to make sure your home is insured for the insurance value, not the real estate value.
Your Home Owners Insurance Deductible
Everyone has to pay a little bit of money when they need to make repairs or replace damaged property. You should know how much your insurance deductible is and how to pay for it. It’s easy to find out the sum so that you can prepare yourself. It’s always a good idea to have an emergency fund that you can use to cover any unexpected expenses. If you need to pay for something that doesn’t go over your deductible, there’s no point in making a claim. There are minimum amounts for hurricane deductibles. If your property is insured for less than $100,000, the deductible will be at least $500. For properties over that amount, the minimum is 2 percent of the insured amount.
Florida Flood Insurance
If you want your home to be insured against flooding, you need a separate policy. You can look at the National Flood Insurance Program. There are also some private insurance providers for flood protection. Flood insurance will cover any damage that might be caused by flooding including from a hurricane. Your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover this. If you’re worried, this extra policy could ease your mind.
Update Your Inventory
Keeping an inventory of your possessions and various parts of your home is always smart. If you already do, it might be time to update your list. If you have never had one before, you should start. Get out your camera, walk around the house, and take photos of your most important items. If you ever need to file a claim with your insurance, it will be easier to provide evidence of the items you need to repair or replace. There are tools you can find online to create an inventory with ease.
Get a Discount on Your Insurance
You might be able to reduce the cost of your insurance by making some changes to your home. For example, having hurricane protection features makes your property less likely to sustain damage, and insurers might offer you a lower price. The location of your home and how old it is could also make a difference. Make sure your insurance provider has the full facts about your property.
Don’t wait to check your home insurance. Do it before hurricane season officially begins.