Have you checked your insurance policy during this Hurricane Season? Now is the moment to make sure you are covered and protected in case a Hurricane approaches your home. Read these important tips and share with us if you have any questions. Please note that some tips might not work for your community, because every community is unique.
Before The Storm
- Create a home Inventory – A complete record of the property is essential for insurance claims. This can easily be done with a smartphone or video cam.
- Make an emergency supply kit – Be sure to have enough food, water and supplies to last at least 72 hours.
- Evacuation route – Know your evacuation route and the location of your area’s emergency shelters.
- Flood Coverage (if not covered by the association) – A standard homeowner’s insurance policy does NOT cover flood loss and it takes 30 days to bind new coverage. Check with your agent to make sure you have flood coverage!
- Homeowner Coverage – Check your policy limit; is it enough to rebuild your home?
Make sure to have enough coverage to completely rebuild your home in the event it is severely damaged or destroyed. And, remember, the real estate value of a house is not the same as the cost to rebuild.
Consider these homeowners coverages to help protect against the costs of rebuilding after a hurricane:
- Extended Replacement Cost Policy – pays an additional 20 percent or more above the policy limits.
- Guaranteed Replacement Cost Policy – pays the full amount to rebuild your home whatever the ultimate cost.
- Inflation Guard – automatically adjusts the coverage limits to reflect changes in construction costs.
- Ordinance or Law Coverage – pays a specified amount for rebuilding to new building codes, should your community adopt stricter codes.
During The Storm
- Evacuation – Whether you decide to evacuate during a storm or not is ultimately your decision and should be based on what you feel is the safest for you and your family. Keep in mind, however, if you evacuate when there is no mandatory evacuation order then “Additional Living Expenses” are not covered under your homeowner’s policy.
- Temporary Repairs – Take reasonable and necessary steps to protect your property from further damage such as boarding up a broken window or tarping a roof. Don’t do anything that will put you at risk. If you have to purchase anything for temporary repairs save all your receipts as your policy may provide reimbursement.
- Connect Online (if you have power!) – You can make better decisions when you have the most current information on a storm. There are many useful sources of valuable information including the web and social media sites of…
After The Storm
- If your home is damaged or destroyed during a Storm or Hurricane, contact Immediately your Association Insurance Company.
- Don’t make any rash decisions; talk to your agent or insurance company first, investigate the track record of the service provider. Don’t sign anything until you have read it!
- Assignment of Benefits – If a service provider asks you to sign an “Assignment of Benefits” be aware that you are signing away all your rights to the claim, and any checks or claim benefits are transferred to the service provider!
- Advance Payment – Let your adjuster know if you need immediate emergency funds to see you through the claim adjustment process.
- Claim Checks – If you have a mortgage on your home, the check will be made out to both you and the mortgage company. This means that the mortgage company will have to endorse the check. Call your mortgage company to find out what process they have in place for this.
- Supplemental Claim – An adjuster will do their best to accurately estimate how much it will cost to repair damage to your home. If additional damages are found or if items were missed, contact your adjuster to file a supplemental claim.