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Hurricane Preparedness Tip

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Insurance Pointers

August 03, 2010

Financial recovery from a disaster will largely depend on the insurance you carry. Every May 1 you should sit down and review your policies for your residence, your car and your boat to be sure your coverage is sufficient. The policy’s instructions will also have some impact on what you will do after a hurricane. There may be helpful advice and as well as specific rules you will need to follow to make your claims.

  • WINDSTORM: Make sure that your policy covers windstorms. Some home owners and renters policies may not.
  • FLOOD INSURANCE: The National Flood Insurance Program is the only underwriter for flood damage to real property or personal effects. You will need to have a separate flood insurance policy written in addition to your homeowners or renters policy. Be advised that there is a 30 day waiting period to get flood insurance, so you’ll have to secure the policy in advance of the hurricane season. Your insurance carrier can do this for you, or you can call the National Flood Insurance Program directly at 800-638-6620.
  • REPLACEMENT COVERAGE: As soon as you purchase something and take it home it begins to depreciate including appliances, computers, sound equipment and other major purchases. When you make an insurance claim, your adjuster will count the depreciation on the item and you may not get the amount you need to replace the item completely. Make sure that your personal belongings have replacement coverage that will take a market price for the item in order to replace it in full.
  • DEDUCTIBLES: Review your policy for deductibles, and other exclusions so you know what you can expect to have to pay for out of pocket. Some Federal disaster loan programs may be available to cover those deductibles.
  • TEMPORARY LIVING EXPENSES: Renters and homeowners should take out policies that will provide them funds for temporary living expenses (or loss of use), which you may need if your residence becomes inhabitable.
  • BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS: In May before the start if Hurricane season, take photos of your residence both inside and out. Make sure you get clear photos of each room of the house that show the appliances and furniture in each. Take photos of your personal belongings that may require special insurance coverage. Make two copies of the pictures, one for you and one for the insurance adjuster. Once the storm has passed, take the same series of pictures.

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