What Homeowners Need to Know About Hurricanes and Insurance

Complete Guide to Hurricane Insurance

What Homeowners Need to Know About Hurricanes and Insurance

Your home isn’t only where your heart is — it’s where your money is. It’s probably your most valuable investment, which is why you have a homeowners insurance policy to protect it.

But even the best home insurance won’t pay for every kind of hurricane damage. If you live near the coast, understanding what your homeowners policy will and won’t cover is key to finding the right hurricane insurance.

What is hurricane insurance?

There’s technically no single policy known as “hurricane insurance.” Instead, you’ll need to insure your home against the two main sources of hurricane damage: water and wind.

You may need to buy these separate policies to ensure adequate hurricane coverage:

  • Flood insurance. No homeowners insurance policy will cover floods, including water from a storm surge. To get coverage, you’ll need flood insurance.
  • Windstorm insurance. Homeowners insurance policies in some hurricane-prone states won’t pay for windstorm damage. If you live in one of these states and want coverage, buy a separate windstorm insurance policy.

» MORE: Homeowners insurance: What it is and what it covers

Does homeowners insurance cover hurricane damage?

A standard homeowners insurance policy won’t cover flooding, but you can buy flood insurance separately through the National Flood Insurance Program or on the private market. Many major insurers provide flood insurance through an arrangement with the NFIP, so you can probably buy it from your home insurance agent.

» MORE: Private vs. national: Which is the best flood insurance?

In most states, standard homeowners policies cover damage caused by wind, including hurricanes.

But if you live in a high-risk coastal state, you might need to buy separate windstorm insurance, either through your insurance company or a state-run insurance pool.

It might also be available as a rider on your current policy. Windstorm insurance covers damage from any strong wind, not just hurricanes.

Here are examples of associations offering windstorm coverage — and often coverage for hail damage — for homeowners who live in high-risk coastal areas and are unable to buy it elsewhere:

Does renters insurance cover hurricane damage?

As with homeowners insurance, most renters policies won’t cover flood damage to your stuff — whether from a hurricane or other storm.

That may not matter if you live on the eighth floor of a high-rise, but if you’re renting a house or ground-floor apartment near the coast, it may be worth buying flood insurance.

(Remember: Your landlord’s insurance covers only the building’s structure, not your personal belongings.)

Most renters insurance does pay for wind damage, although this coverage is sometimes excluded in high-risk areas. If wind damage is a concern, double-check your policy to make sure you’re covered. If not, contact your insurance company or agent to see if you can add this coverage to your policy.

» MORE: Renters insurance: What it is and what it covers

Windstorm, named storm and hurricane deductibles

Some insurers impose a separate hurricane, named storm and/or windstorm deductible on home and renters policies. An insurance deductible is the amount subtracted from your insurer’s claim payout.

Although these deductibles sound similar, there are important differences:

  • Windstorm deductible: Sometimes called a wind/hail deductible, this applies to damage not only from hurricanes but also from tornadoes or other strong winds.
  • Named storm deductible: This type of deductible typically goes into effect if your home is damaged in a storm that’s been named by the National Weather Service or the National Hurricane Center. A tornado or other strong windstorm would not trigger this type of deductible.
  • Hurricane deductible: A hurricane deductible is generally triggered only when a storm has high enough winds to be categorized as a hurricane (rather than a tropical storm or depression).

Home insurance deductibles are often a flat dollar amount, such as $1,000, while wind, named storm and hurricane deductibles are typically a percentage of your home’s insured value.

They usually range from 1% to 5%, though they can be higher in high-risk coastal areas.

If your home is insured for $500,000 and you have a 5% wind deductible, up to $25,000 will be deducted from your payment if you file a claim.

Check with your agent to make sure you understand the deductibles that apply to your policy and under which circumstances they might be triggered.

The following 19 coastal states and Washington, D.C., allow insurers to charge special deductibles for hurricane damage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

States where insurance companies can charge special deductibles for hurricane damage

Deductible percentages vary by state and insurance company. For example:

  • Alabama. The Alabama Insurance Underwriting Association offers wind/hail/hurricane deductible options of 1%, 2%, 5% and 10%.
  • Florida. Insurers must offer hurricane deductible options of $500, 2%, 5% and 10%. Deductibles can exceed 10% in some cases. The state has a “single season hurricane deductible,” which means you’re responsible for only one hurricane deductible during a given hurricane season, even if your home is hit by multiple storms. Once you’ve met your hurricane deductible, the general deductible on your policy — typically a flat dollar amount — will apply for any subsequent hurricane claims.
  • Massachusetts. Some insurance companies have mandatory wind deductibles for residents who live in coastal areas. These may be fixed dollar amounts or percentages, depending on how much coverage you need and how close you are to the shore.
  • New York. Deductibles generally range from 1% to 5%. Higher percentages and flat amounts are also available.
  • Pennsylvania. Hurricane and storm deductibles typically range from 1% to 5% under homeowners policies.
  • Rhode Island. A windstorm deductible on a homeowners policy cannot exceed 5% of a home’s insured value.

» MORE: Hurricane prep: How to get ready for a storm

How much is hurricane insurance?

The cost of hurricane insurance depends on the cost of the underlying policies. The average cost of homeowners insurance in the U.S. is $1,631 per year, according to NerdWallet’s rate analysis, while flood insurance from the NFIP costs $732 a year, on average.

Some coastal homeowners will need to add wind coverage on top of that to be fully covered for a hurricane — and it can be pricey. As an example, the average annual residential premium from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association is $1,700.

Hurricane insurance costs significantly less if you’re renting. The NFIP offers flood insurance for renters from as little as $99 a year, while the average cost of renters insurance is $168 per year, according to NerdWallet’s rate analysis.

Your own rates will vary depending on where you live, the amount of coverage you need and the deductibles you choose.

Tips for buying hurricane insurance

  • Whether you’re buying home, flood or windstorm insurance — or all three — make sure you have enough coverage to pay for the full cost of rebuilding your house and replacing your possessions. Your insurance agent can help you pinpoint the right amount.
  • Don’t procrastinate. Flood insurance policies usually impose a 30-day waiting period between the time you buy and the time coverage takes effect. And insurers typically won’t adjust your coverage once a storm is forecast.
  • Any time your policy is up for renewal, remember that you may be able to save money by comparing quotes to find a lower rate for the same coverage.

» MORE: How to make an insurance claim after a hurricane

Frequently asked questions

Is there such a thing as hurricane insurance?

Technically, no. To fully cover your home for hurricane damage, you need at least two types of coverage: flood insurance and homeowners insurance. Depending on where you live, you may need separate windstorm insurance too.

Who pays for hurricane damage?

Depending on the cause — water or wind — hurricane damage could be covered by your homeowners, flood or windstorm policies, if you have them. Even if you’re fully insured, you may end up paying out thousands of dollars for repairs because wind and hurricane deductibles can be quite high. If you don’t have flood insurance, other assistance may be available.

What happens if your car is damaged in a hurricane?

Flood and wind damage to your car are covered as long as you have comprehensive insurance on your auto policy. Comprehensive insurance typically carries a deductible of $500-$1,500, which would be subtracted from your claim payout.

How much is hurricane insurance in Florida?

The average cost of NFIP flood insurance in Florida is $591, while homeowners insurance costs $1,993 a year on average, according to NerdWallet’s rate analysis. Depending on where you live, you may also need to buy separate windstorm insurance. Your rates will depend on where you live and how much coverage you need.

Источник: https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/insurance/hurricane-insurance

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?

What Homeowners Need to Know About Hurricanes and Insurance

With hurricanes, you do not always have advance notice of when they are coming. Compared to other natural disasters, a few days to a few hours of hurricane preparation could be the difference in the amount of property damage your home sustains and even the difference between life and death.

But, preparing your home does not have to stop at boarding up the windows and securing items outdoors. Making sure your homeowners insurance covers hurricane damage is often a recommended first step to take.

A standard homeowners insurance policy protects your home against some natural disasters, but not all. The flooding and storm surges that occur with hurricanes are typically not included in a standard policy.

You may need to purchase an endorsement or a separate policy to have coverage for hurricanes and flooding.

With the start of hurricane season swiftly approaching in June, you may find it important to start reviewing your policy now.

And while June 1 is the official start of the season, hurricanes have been forming earlier over time due to climate changes so much that the National Weather Service considered moving hurricane season to begin on March 15.

Ultimately, they did not; however, the NWS will now issue routine Tropical Weather Outlooks (TWOs) beginning May 15.

Here are seven things to know about how homeowners insurance works for storm-related coverage.

How much hurricane coverage do you need?

Generally, the limit for personal property is a percentage of the insured amount of the dwelling, says Britta Moss, a claim consultant with Highbanks Insurance Professionals in Delaware, Ohio.

Many insurers provide personal property coverage of 50% to 70% of your home’s insured value, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).

If you need more (or less) coverage, you can tweak your policy by talking with your insurance agent, says Moss.

A standard homeowners policy provides protection for: 1) your dwelling (the structure of the home); 2) detached units ( a shed or detached garage); 3) personal property (your belongings) and 4) living expenses if you are displaced.

Dwelling coverage

Dwelling coverage covers the structure of your home, your roof and built-in appliances such as your water heater or kitchen cabinets. You generally buy this coverage equal to the total rebuild cost of your home.

Hurricane damage is expensive and ly more than might initially anticipate. If you want to be extra careful, you could ask about extended dwelling coverage for higher limits.

Detached units coverage

Homeowners often overlook this area when updating or obtaining insurance. Detached structures can include garages, sheds, barns, gazebos and more. According to III, this coverage is usually a percentage of your dwelling. For example, if you have $400,000 in dwelling coverage, you may have up to $40,000 in coverage for detached units.

Personal property

Personal property coverage is essentially what it sounds . It covers property that is not physically attached to your house, which could include clothing, furniture, appliances and more.

The property damage may be significant from a hurricane due to winds, but you may also need coverage for the contents in your home. Hurricane winds can damage more than the home’s structure. To protect your home’s contents, you may insure your belongings at their replacement cost instead of their actual cash value so you can replace them with new items of equivalent value.

Living Expenses

Understanding your coverage for living expenses is important because you could be displaced for a long time after a major storm. This coverage helps pay for additional living expenses that are a result of displacement following a loss. This could include hotel and food expenses while your home is being repaired.

If your homeowners insurance does cover for wind damage or other hurricane damage, then claims may be subject to a separate deductible.

These deductibles are typically higher than standard homeowners insurance and set as a percentage – usually 1% to 5% at least – of your dwelling coverage.

For example, if you are covered for $400,000 and your hurricane deductible is 5%, then you may have to cover a $20,000 deductible.

Do you need a hurricane deductible?

Almost every state on the Atlantic coast allows special hurricane deductibles to be charged by insurers. It is possible that you may have the option to pay a higher premium to lower your fixed deductible.

Hurricane deductibles are usually triggered by an official hurricane ruling from the National Weather Service, but can vary slightly by state and insurance company. While hurricane deductibles may be steep, leaving the coverage off your policy completely could cost you more in the long run if you are in a high-risk area for hurricanes.

What states have hurricane deductibles

Nineteen states and Washington, D.C., have hurricane deductibles:

  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Virginia

Flood insurance

Some homeowners may be surprised to learn that flooding — even from a hurricane — is generally not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. If you live in a federal flood zone and you have a mortgage, you will ly have to purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, when you buy your home.

The federal program provides up to $250,000 in dwelling coverage and $100,000 in personal property coverage, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, which administers the NFIP.

If the value of your home exceeds the NFIP limit, your lender may require you to purchase additional flood coverage from a private insurer — even if the federal government doesn’t require it in a lower-risk area.

More than 20% of flood claims come from properties outside high-risk federal flood zones, according to FEMA. Because of this, it may be better to err on the side of caution and buy flood insurance if your area is at all subject to flooding. Otherwise, you could be stuck with the entire bill if your home is damaged by water, says Sara Singhas, director at the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Water backup coverage

Sewage overflow is not something you want to think of after a hurricane, but it could happen as a result of flooding. Water backup coverage helps protect your home and personal property from water damage if sewage water backs up into your home through your plumbing or sump pump.

Debris removal coverage

Homeowners insurance generally covers debris removal if, for instance, a tree falls on your property. However, the coverage usually only goes up to a certain amount. Debris removal following a hurricane can easily exceed that cap so you may want to check if your insurer offers a coverage endorsement to increase your debris removal reimbursement.

Regular documentation can help streamline the claims process

There are things you can do to help streamline the claims process, but also alleviate some stress during a crisis.

Take photos and videos of the interior and exterior of your home routinely (every six months to a year) to document what your home looks and what is in it.

If you have done major renovations or repairs, make an inventory of that, too, and upload all of the documentation to the cloud so you can access it remotely, Moss says.

After a storm, it could take time for an insurance adjuster to inspect your home so document everything again as soon as you can. Moss advises having your own documentation can help your insurer process your claim more quickly and resolve potential claim disputes.

Renters and condo owners typically need special coverage

Renters insurance policies are just as important as homeowners policies are, but for two different circumstances. If you live in an apartment, your landlord insures the building, but you need to carry insurance for your possessions, also known as renters insurance.

If you own a condo, find out what areas are covered by the association and what you will need to insure. In addition to your personal items, it is possible that you may be responsible to help pay for a portion of the repairs to the damaged structure. Check with your association attorney or property management company before you buy and find out exactly what type of coverage you will need.

Fortunately, there is typically no hurricane deductible for renters insurance policies – only the standard deductible.

What is a hurricane moratorium?

An insurance moratorium is a period of time where new policies cannot be written and updates to existing policies cannot be made. In regards to hurricanes, a moratorium is usually put into effect once a hurricane watch or warning has been issued by the NOAA.

What happens if your car is damaged in a hurricane?

Hurricane damage ( flood and wind damage) to your car is generally covered as long as you carry comprehensive insurance on your auto policy.

Learn more:

Источник: https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/homeowners-insurance/hurricane-damage/

Is Hurricane Insurance Worth It?

What Homeowners Need to Know About Hurricanes and Insurance

The Atlantic coast hurricane season lasts from June through November, with the lihood of storms peaking from August to October. The East Coast and Gulf Coast are most at risk, though damage from wind and rain can extend well inland.

Homeowners should assess insurance needs long before a hurricane makes landfall. Most insurers won't issue policies when a storm is imminent. The cost of hurricane insurance depends on a number of factors including where you live, what your house is worth, and how high a deductible you're willing to pay.

Hurricane Insurance: What's Covered?

Hurricane coverage varies by state. In general, homeowners insurance will cover damage from wind and wind-driven rain. So if high winds rip off your shingles and water penetrates through the roof, the damage is usually covered. Read your policy carefully, and look for any limitations on wind and water damage.

The fine print is especially important because an increasing number of insurers are excluding damage from hurricanes altogether, says Frank Darras, an insurance attorney in Ontario, Calif.

Homeowners in states Florida, Texas, and Louisiana may need to purchase homeowners insurance with supplemental hurricane coverage.

Alternatively, it may be advisable to buy separate windstorm and flood policies.

Even homeowners policies that don't exclude hurricanes will typically exclude damage from floods caused by rising water. Rising water can result from ground-water surge, tidal surge, or overflowing lakes and rivers. Flood insurance is available to most homeowners through the National Flood Insurance Program. 

Homeowners at the greatest risk from high winds should check with their state insurance commissioner to help determine what additional coverage is needed. States threatened by hurricanes usually operate high-risk insurance pools that offer hurricane coverage, says David Miller, head of Brightway Insurance in Jacksonville, Fla.

    Save on Utilities

    Does your toilet have the cold sweats? Here’s how to fix condensation on a toilet tank before the dripping water rots out your bathroom floor.

    Bathroom & Laundry

    When converting your tub to a shower, follow these 6 foolproof tips.

    Painting & Lighting

    Case in point: Removing paint from brick is almost impossible.

Hurricane Insurance: How Much Does it Cost?

The cost of comprehensive hurricane coverage can vary wildly, from as little as $300 for a modest house in a low-risk area to upwards of $20,000 for a luxury home in a high-risk zone.

On top of the premium, policies issued in states that are most susceptible to storms can come with hurricane deductibles, which typically range from 1%-5% of the insured value of a home.

A standard deductible, say $500, would apply to claims that aren't hurricane-related.

Hurricane deductibles usually kick in when damage results from a named storm. That means if your house is insured for $200,000, and it's damaged in a hurricane, then the hurricane deductible will range between $2,000 (1% of insured value) and $10,000 (5%).

Some states allow homeowners to choose the hurricane deductible — the higher the deductible, the lower the premium — while others set deductible levels.Darras, the insurance attorney, counsels homeowners to review their hurricane risks and current coverage to determine whether purchasing additional insurance is necessary.

He also suggests factoring in the condition of the house itself. New constructions are more ly to be built to withstand high winds, while older homes that weren't subject to stricter building codes are less so. Consult a home inspector or contractor.

Hurricane-mitigation improvements, such as storm shutters and secondary water protection (essentially an extra layer of water-proofing between shingles and the roof sheathing), can lower the cost of hurricane coverage.

In Florida's Miami-Dade County, for example, the annual premium on an older home insured for $150,000 runs between $3,000-$8,000, assuming no mitigation improvements and a 2% hurricane deductible. With mitigation improvements, the same home would cost $1,000-$3,500 to insure.

If wind damage is sufficiently addressed by your existing homeowners policy but flooding isn't, a common scenario for homeowners, then look into a separate flood policy. Just an inch of floodwater in your home can result in $7,800 in damage. The average flood policy costs $540/year, according to the National Flood Insurance Program.

10 Costliest Catastrophes in U.S. History

DISASTERDATECOST AT TIMECOST IN 2009 DOLLARS
Hurricane KatrinaAug. 2005$41.1 bil$45.1 bil
9/11 terrorist attacksSep. 2001$32.5 bil$39.4 bil
Hurricane AndrewAug. 1992$15.5 bil$23.7 bil
Northridge earthquakeJan. 1994$12.5 bil$18.1 bil
Hurricane IkeSep. 2008$12.5 bil$12.5 bil
Hurricane WilmaOct. 2005$10.3 bil$11.3 bil
Hurricane CharleyAug. 2004$7.5 bil$8.5 bil
Hurricane IvanSep. 2004$7.1 bil$8.1 bil
Hurricane HugoSep. 1989$4.2 bil$7.3 bil
Hurricane RitaSep. 2005$5.6 bil$6.2 bil

Source: Insurance Information Institute report

Review Your Policy Now

Don't wait until the last minute to determine your needs. Some policies have a waiting period before they go into effect. And once a tropical storm is named or a hurricane watch declared, it's unly you'll be able to purchase a policy to cover that particular storm. Set aside a day to review your current policy and get quotes on additional coverage.

“It comes down to risk tolerances,” Darras says. “What does your policy cover? Where do you live, and what is the risk you're facing? What can you afford? And how much risk are you comfortable with? Those are the questions you need to ask when you're deciding on purchasing more coverage.”

Related: Are You Prepared to Evacuate in an Emergency?

  • It’s a confusing time, but lenders are putting remedies, forbearance, in place to help homeowners. Coronavirus Mortgage Relief: What You Need To Know
  • Adopt a few of these home tips to find a bit more cash each month. 35 Money-Saving Household Habits
  • Details can be tricky. Double-check yourself with these tax rules affecting homeowners. Can I Claim The Mortgage Interest Deduction?
  • Here’s the scoop on what’s tax deductible when buying a house. Are Closing Costs Tax Deductible?
  • Whether you’re self-employed or applying for an FHA or USDA loan, here’s the pre-approval paperwork you need. Documents You Need for Mortgage Pre-Approval: A Checklist for Each Type of Loan

Источник: https://www.houselogic.com/finances-taxes/home-insurance/is-hurricane-insurance-worth-it/

Hurricane season insurance guide

What Homeowners Need to Know About Hurricanes and Insurance

Standard homeowners insurance covers the structure of your house for disasters such as hurricanes and windstorms, along with a host of other disasters. It's important to understand the elements that might affect your insurance payout after a hurricane, and adjust your policies accordingly.

  • Understand your hurricane/windstorm deductible – Insurers in every coastal state from Maine to Texas include separate deductibles for hurricanes and/or windstorms in their homeowners policies, stated on the Declarations (front) page of your homeowners policy.

A hurricane deductible is applied only to hurricanes, whereas a windstorm deductible applies to any type of wind. If your policy has a hurricane deductible, it will clearly state the specific “trigger” that would cause the deductible to go into effect.

Un the standard “dollar deductible” on a homeowners policy, a hurricane or windstorm deductible is usually expressed as a percentage, generally from 1 to 5 percent of the insured value of the structure of your home.

If you live in an area at high risk for hurricanes, your hurricane deductible may be a higher percentage. Depending on your insurer and the state where you live, you may have the option of paying more money in premiums in exchange for a lower deductible.

any deductible, a hurricane or windstorm deductible will affect the bottom line of your insurance payout. If you have a high hurricane or windstorm deductible consider putting aside the additional money you may need to rebuild your home.

One common exclusion is flooding. People tend to underestimate this risk, but 90 percent of all natural disasters—especially hurricanes—include some form of flooding. If you live in a flood zone or a hurricane-prone area, a separate flood insurance policy is a must.

Another common exclusion is sewer backups (which is also not covered by flood insurance) Sewer backup insurance is also good to have in hurricane-prone areas.

Get to know all of the exclusions in your policy and either talk to your insurance professional about purchasing separate coverage, or be prepared to pay pocket for the damages that are excluded in your policy.

  • If you own a co-op apartment or condo – check with your management company and the bylaws to understand what is covered under the building's master insurance policy versus what damages you need to cover in your own co-op or condo owners insurance policy.  

Make sure your possessions are adequately insured

Imagine the cost of repurchasing all of your furniture, clothing and other personal possessions. Whether you have homeowners insurance or renters insurance, your policy provides protection against loss or damage due to a hurricane.

  • Determine the value of your possessions with a home inventory – Creating a full inventory of your belongings and their value will make it easy to see if you are sufficiently insured for either replacement cost or cash value of the items. It will also help speed the insurance claims process and help provide proof of losses for tax or disaster aid purposes.
  • Review your policy to ensure you're adequately covered – Homeowners policies provide approximately 50 to 70 percent of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home. If you rent, know that your landlord's insurance will only cover the structure of your home—you need a renters policy to protect your possessions against loss or damage.

Make sure your policy provides enough coverage for additional living expenses

Additional living expenses (ALE) covers the extra costs incurred if you need to live elsewhere because your home is rendered uninhabitable as the result of a hurricane (or any other insured disaster).

While your home or apartment is being repaired or rebuilt, ALE covers hotel bills, restaurant meals, etc.—expenses over and above what your customary living expenses would be at home.

Generally, the ALE policy limit is 20 percent of the amount of insurance coverage on the structure of your home. Standard renters policies also provide for ALE.

  • Most insurers offer the option of higher coverage limits – Depending on where you live (which may dictate your expenses), you may want to consider a higher ALE.
  • ALE reimbursements may be limited to a specified amount of time – Make sure you’re comfortable with the time limits in your policy.
  • If you rent out part of your home, ALE coverage also reimburses you for lost rental income. Make sure your policy reflects the current amount of your rental income.

Next steps link: Here are more ways to ensure your family and your home are well protected for hurricane season.

Источник: https://www.iii.org/article/hurricane-season-insurance-guide

Hurricane safety guide | Coverage.com

What Homeowners Need to Know About Hurricanes and Insurance

@media only screen and (min-width: 64em) { .hero { height: 360px; } .hero__headline { margin-top: 0%; margin-left: 0%; } .hero__foreground { bottom: 0%; left: 0%; transform: scale(1); } } @media only screen and (min-width: 40em) and (max-width: 64em) { .

hero { height: 290px; } .hero__headline { margin-top: 0%; margin-left: 0%; } .hero__foreground { bottom: 0%; left: 0%; transform: scale(1); } } @media only screen and (max-width: 40em) { .hero { height: 350px; } .hero__headline { margin-top: 0%; margin-left: 0%; } .

hero__foreground { bottom: 0%; left: 0%; transform: scale(1); } }

Measured by the human and structural toll, hurricanes rank among the most destructive disasters on earth.

Hurricane Katrina, which barreled through the South in 2005, claimed over 1,800 lives and caused more than $160 billion worth of damage.

Given the devastation that hurricanes can cause, it’s wise to make sure you’re prepared if one rips through your community. In the U.S., the annual Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30. In this guide, we’ll go over safety tips, safety precautions, safety kits, and insurance needs if you live in the potential path of a hurricane.

10 ways to prepare for a hurricane 

Before you receive an emergency alert about an imminent hurricane, use these 10 tips to prepare for a potential disaster.   

  1. Create an evacuation plan. Every household should have a plan for what to do in a hurricane. Decide what steps you should take and where you, your family and your pets should go. You might have friends or family that you could stay with or be willing to drive inland to a particular emergency shelter or hotel. Be sure everyone in your household is aware of the plan, and you have a designated meeting point.
  1. Download weather and emergency apps to stay on top of evacuation warnings and other news. These can help you track the path of a storm and change your plans as needed.
  2. Locate important documents. If you need to leave your home quickly, make sure you know which essential documents and valuables you would take. Keeping them in a central location, such as in a locked filing cabinet, would make it easy to gather necessary belongings and paperwork quickly before you evacuate.
  3. Check your insurance policies to make sure you have coverage for hurricane damage. Be clear about hurricane or wind deductibles that may apply if you need to make an insurance claim.
  4. Protect your windows. The best time to purchase hurricane shutters or plywood is well ahead of a storm. If you have older windows, consider upgrading them for more protection from high winds.
  5. Have enough gas. When you first hear about a looming hurricane, be sure you’ve got enough gas in your car for a long trip if you need to evacuate. If you have a home generator, keep enough gas available to operate it for an unknown period. 
  6. Know the evacuation routes in your area. Get familiar with all the different ways you can leave your home safely.
  7. Know the closest emergency shelters. Find out where you could go for food, shelter and medical treatment in case of an evacuation order.
  8. Stowe your outdoor items. It’s critical that you securely store items that could be scattered by the wind and damage your home or others. These might include potted plants, bicycles, patio furniture, and garbage cans.
  9. Install a generator. If you’re ly to stay at home during a hurricane, remember having a generator is probably the only way that you would have power during and for some time after a powerful storm or hurricane.

How to stay safe at home during a hurricane 

Once a storm approaches your area, use these hurricane safety precautions if you choose to stay home.

  • Stay indoors, even if it looks safe outside. 
  • When you’re inside, stay away from windows and seek refuge in an interior room or closet. 
  • If you get trapped in a building, go to the highest level but don’t climb into the attic. 
  • Don’t use electrical appliances. 
  • Use flashlights instead of candles, which could cause a fire.  
  • Don’t wade into floodwaters and stay away from downed power lines. 
  • Don’t drive into flood waters or use bridges that go across fast-moving water. 
  • Remember that trying to drive through floods is a leading cause of death during hurricanes.

How to create a hurricane safety kit

A hurricane safety kit is similar to a first aid kit and can help you deal with various emergencies. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, take the time to create a safety kit for you and your family.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests that your hurricane survival kit has enough supplies to last 72 hours. Here are some items to include in your hurricane kit.

  • One gallon of water per person per day. Drinkable water is key to post-hurricane survival.
  • Enough food for three days. Be sure there’s plenty of non-perishable food, such as canned meat, canned soup, peanut butter, granola bars, hot and cold cereal, ground coffee, tea bags, powdered milk and juice boxes.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Manual can opener.
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties.
  • First aid kit.
  • NOAA Weather Radio with extra batteries.
  • Hand-cranked radio or battery-powered radio as a backup to the NOAA radio.
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to protect short-term shelter.
  • Face masks to filter contaminated air.

Does my insurance cover a hurricane?

While there’s no such thing as hurricane insurance, homeowners and renters policies cover some types of hurricane-related damage to your property and personal belongings. Before a storm hits, you should understand how your existing insurance protects you and what additional coverage for hurricanes you may need. 

A standard home or renters insurance policy typically covers damage caused by wind, rain and lightning. However, it doesn’t include flood damage sustained during a hurricane.

You must have a separate flood insurance policy to protect your home’s structure and personal belongings from flood damage. Flood insurance is available through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.

In some states, home insurance policies include hurricane or windstorm deductibles. The deductible typically is 1% to 5% of the insured value of your home’s structure (not its contents).

How to make a hurricane insurance claim

If your home or personal belongings get damaged in a hurricane, use these tips to make an insurance claim.

  • Reach out to your insurance agent or provider and tell them your home has been damaged or destroyed.
  • Review your insurance policies to find out what’s covered and what isn’t. 
  • Ask whether your coverage includes living expenses, such as rent and food, to help you manage if you’re unable to occupy your home. Maintain your receipts for these expenses.
  • Make emergency repairs to protect your home from further damage.
  • Take photos of the damage to your home.
  • Make a list of the household items that were damaged or destroyed in the storm. 
  • Beware of potential scam artists who go door to door promoting services as repair contractors. They may not be qualified to repair your home correctly. 
  • Consider not filing a claim if damage to your home is minor and repair expenses would exceed your deductible. Even a small claim can cause your home insurance rate to go up.

Tags – homeowners insurance Low income auto insurance… Read Next Attractive nuisances and homeowners…

Источник: https://www.coverage.com/insurance/home/homeowners-hurricane-safety-guide/

NEWS
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: