Floridians may not know much about snowstorms or cold snaps but they know hurricanes. Living in a beautiful tropical area means dealing with the threat of damage caused by hurricanes from June through November every year. Unfortunately, many residents only consider the repercussions of a hurricane once a named storm appears imminent. Then, they begin to wonder, does my homeowners’ insurance cover hurricane damage?
Read Your Policy
The policy itself is the first place to look if you want to know whether or not your insurance policy covers damage caused by a hurricane. Its terms will describe exactly what is and is not covered. The good news is that most Florida-based policies will cover damages caused by a hurricane, including wind and tornado damage. The bad news is that even if it does, there will likely be a hurricane deductible that applies.
The hurricane insurance deductible is usually percentage based and varies according to the amount paid for the insurance. In other words, if a homeowner wants to pay a lower deductible percentage, they can pay a higher premium. Conversely, they can agree to pay a higher deductible percentage if they want to pay a lower premium.
If a home has $450,000 total hurricane coverage with a three percent deductible, the homeowners will be required to pay a $13,500 deductible before the insurer pays for the rest of the damage. One positive is that if a homeowner sustains damage from two separate hurricane systems in a particularly bad hurricane season, they will only have to pay the hurricane deductible once.
Keep in mind that most insurers cease issuing new policies or updating existing policies when a hurricane system is named. This ban typically lasts until 72 hours after a hurricane watch or warning for the state has expired.
Flooding & Wind Damage
Insurance policies in Florida typically cover wind damage. Flooding, however, is not. Therefore, homeowners will need to obtain a separate policy for damage caused by flooding. When a home is in a flood zone and is encumbered by a mortgage, the homeowners will be required by the mortgage company to carry a separate flood policy.
Hurricane policies do generally cover rain damage even when they do not cover flood damage. For example, if a hurricane’s high winds cause a portion of a home’s roof to fly away, rain then gets in the hole caused by the missing roof, and the rain causes damages, the hurricane policy should provide coverage. However, if rising flood waters cause water damage, the typical homeowner’s insurance policy will not provide coverage.
Speak With a Florida Attorney at Martin Law Firm, P.L.
If you live in Florida and have questions about your homeowner’s insurance coverage, or if your property has been damaged and you need help obtaining payment from your insurance company, contact our firm. We are experienced legal professionals here to assist you in recovering the compensation you deserve.