It’s the Start of Hurricane Season, Part 2: How to Reinforce Your Insurance Policy

Last month we offered some strategies to reinforce your home to protect it from the heavy rain, strong winds, and other threats caused by hurricanes. While those steps can do a lot to strengthen your home and minimize the risk, the reality is there is nothing that can eliminate the risk of damage from a strong hurricane. This is why it is important to ensure your insurance policy is up to date and will provide the coverage you need should the worst happen. The following steps will help to “reinforce” your insurance policy so you’re prepared for whatever this hurricane season blows your way.

Review Your Deductible

Take a look at your deductible and see if it is reasonable. Keep in mind that many insurance policies have a separate deductible amount for named storms and hurricanes, which is often a percentage of the total amount of damage done. Lowering your deductible amount will cause your payments to go up, but it could be a smart decision if you won’t be able to come up with your current deductible should your home be damaged.

Replacement Policy vs. Cash Value Policy

Many people think that they are protected because they have an insurance policy in place, but that is not always the case. One common mistake people make is not looking at whether they have replacement coverage or cash value coverage. This is important in many situations. One example would be if a hurricane were to blow the roof off of your home so it needs to be replaced. If you have replacement coverage, the cost of putting the new roof on would be paid (minus any deductible). If you have cash value coverage, however, you would only get paid the value of the roof when it was damaged. If the roof was 20 years old, for example, the value would be far less than the cost of putting a new one on.

Proper Flood Insurance

For most Floridians, this is going to be the biggest thing to check on with your insurance company. Most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t include flood coverage by default, which leaves you incredibly exposed to danger. Depending on how a hurricane unfolds, the flooding may actually cause more total damage than the wind or other issues. Huge amounts of water can be pushed into an area not only via the heavy rain, but also due to storm surges (which can reach surprisingly far inland), overflowing rivers or lakes, and more. Since flood insurance prices are determined largely based on the area where your home sits, it can be very affordable for many people.

Update Home Inventory

This is a simple one but can make your life much easier after a storm. Go through your home and take pictures of everything valuable. This way if a storm does cause massive damage, you can quickly prove to the insurance company what was in it so you can get paid out for everything that needs to be replaced.

With hurricane season upon us, it is important to move fast to get everything in order. Updating your insurance policy is not something that can wait until the hurricane is bearing down your location. Call your provider today or reach out to other companies to get a quote to ensure your home is protected.

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Barnard Law Offices

The Barnard Law Offices, L.P. has been protecting the rights of Floridians for four generations. Together our attorneys bring years of insurance claim advocacy and trial experience to the table. We don’t believe in half-hearted measures when it comes to proving your claim: after inspecting the damage to your property, our office will engage or connect you with high-quality third-party professionals to assist you with your claim and assess your property damage. Our talented team is dedicated to serving each client’s needs with a passion and commitment that makes us stand out among our peers.

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