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Understanding Your Hurricane Insurance Policy

Hurricane season will soon be upon us and many residents are already nervous about this upcoming season due to the warm ocean waters and the amount of destruction that has occurred over the past decade.  If you have not yet pulled out your home insurance documents, now is a wise time to do so. Our Miami hurricane damage claims lawyers feel it is important that you understand whether you will be protected in the event of a hurricane.  Some homeowners will need to purchase separate insurance policies in order to obtain hurricane coverage, while others may have it built into their policies.  Most South Florida residents must have separate hurricane policies, and if you do not have coverage, your time to retain coverage before this hurricane season is dwindling.

What Your Hurricane Insurance Policy Says

            It is important for you to pull out your hurricane insurance policy and review its terms so that you know precisely what is covered, and what is not, in the event of a hurricane.  Most policies will cover hurricane losses, but that coverage varies.  If you have recently remodeled your home, for instance, such as replacing the roof of adding hurricane shutters, you should contact your agent and provide them with this information as it may change your rates and coverage.

Anticipate possible evacuation expenses, such as being forced to live in a hotel and eat at restaurants in the event your home is damaged in a hurricane.  Look to your policy to see whether these expenses would be covered.

Insure your home for what it would cost to rebuild, not the market value as this may change over time.  Remember that once hurricane season officially begins or a watch or warning has issued, it will be too late to add or change your coverage.  As such, review your plan early and have a good idea of your coverage limits.

Understand Your Deductible

            Hurricane insurance policies will typically have either traditional dollar amount deductibles or they could be based upon a percentage of your home’s value.  Percentages often range from one to five percent.  If you have a two percent deductible, for instance, and your home is insured for $150,000, then the first $3,000 will come out of your pocket.  Know your deductible so that you can be prepared in the event your home is damaged in a hurricane.

Flood Insurance is Separate

            It is important that you understand your hurricane policy does not typically cover flood damage.  You may thus need additional insurance to militate against the risks of flood damage from hurricanes.  You can check whether you are in a flood zone through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.  Insurance quotes can be gathered through the site.  There is a 30 day waiting period before the policy will take effect, so if you do not want to be without flood insurance during hurricane season, do not delay.

Remember that if your home is damaged in a hurricane, a homeowner’s insurance attorney will be your best resource to obtaining full compensation for your losses.

Greenberg Stone and Urbano:  Assisting Homeowner’s With a Variety of Insurance Claims   

            While we all hope this hurricane season will be uneventful, it is best to be prepared in the unlikely event of a disaster.  If your home is damaged due to hurricane, flood, fire, or any other disaster, the Miami Homeowner’s Insurance Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano will assist you in obtaining the coverage you rightfully deserve.  For over 130 collective years, we have handled insurance disputes across the state.  Our attorneys will aggressively fight to see that your initial denial becomes a swift payout.  Our exceptional results have earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.

 

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