SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -
The 2020 hurricane season is in full swing with nine named storms already as of August 5th. Isaias was the latest tropical system to impact the South Carolina-North Carolina border as a Category 1 hurricane Monday night. The storm unleashed damaging winds, flooding rains and destructive tornadoes while inundating some coastal areas along the east coast. Let this serve as a reminder that we are still in the peak of hurricane season and it’s important to check your homeowner’s insurance to see what it covers.
“There are companies out there that will come out and inspect your home, and it’s a couple hundred dollars, but it’s worth it. This will give you an idea on what your home can handle as far as hurricane wind resistance, and you can also save a lot of money on your homeowners insurance,” says Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane of Sarasota County.
Most standard homeowners policies will cover damage caused by hurricanes, except for flood damage. According to FEMA, roughly 25% of flood insurance claims come from areas that have a low-to-moderate flood risk. Just one inch of water can cause $25,000 worth of damage to your home.
“In Lehigh Acres, during Hurricane Irma we had terrible flooding. Many of those people did not have flood insurance because it’s not in an area that is likely to have a flood, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen. That’s why it’s important to get flood insurance because once a storm gets named it’ll be too late.” states Cathy Sink, who has been a local Allstate Insurance Agent for 24 years.
Flood insurance covers the home, electrical systems, appliances, and other building property, as well as personal contents. Homeowners and condo owners can insure up to $250,000 for a home and up to $100,000 for contents.
Here’s what flood insurance doesn’t cover:
- Damage from moisture, mildew or mold that the homeowner could have prevented
- Money and valuable papers
- Belongings outside a home, including trees, plants, walkways, decks, fences, and swimming pools
- Temporary housing if the home is inhabitable
If you are renting, don’t count on your landlord’s insurance covering your personal property. Landlords get insurance that covers the physical building. Therefore, insurance agents strongly encouraged renter’s insurance as this will cover up to $100,000 in belongings inside the home.
“Their furniture, clothing, all of the items they have inside would not be covered unless they have a renters policy that has hurricane coverage on it,” says Sink.
Florida is one of the 19 states that have a hurricane deducible and with a hurricane deductible, insurers base the deductible on a percentage depending on the property’s risk. These percentages typically range from 2 to 5 percent of your home’s insured value. The percentage could reach double digits in hurricane-prone coastal areas, such as Florida.
Contact a local insurance agent and ask about any insurance policies that will ensure that your property and belongings are covered at your residence.
“What we’ve seen in the last couple of years is many insurance companies are now offering lower hurricane deductibles, and many times they are very affordable,” says Sink.