Hurricane season is here, and it is time to prepare for the worst.
One of the most important steps in hurricane preparedness is reviewing your policies to ensure you have adequate insurance in place for your home and belongings.
Here’s what a good insurance policy typically looks like.
The policy limit is enough to rebuild your home
Let’s say a major hurricane slams Florida and blows your house away. A good policy should be able to cover the cost of rebuilding your home from the ground up.
It’s important to remember that this cost is not the same as the real estate value of your home. You should understand, in detail, what it will cost to rebuild your house and make sure your insurance can cover that amount.
The hurricane deductible is affordable
Some insurance companies in Florida have a separate deductible for hurricanes. This deductible is different from the one that would apply in the event of any other wind damage. You can typically find this hurricane deductible on the Declarations Page in your policy packet.
If a hurricane were to damage your home, you will be required to pay this deductible first to repair your home before your insurer pays out a claim. That’s why it’s important that you can afford to pay this deductible.
If it’s too high, consider paying higher premiums in exchange for a lower deductible. You may also consider saving money during this hurricane season to help pay the deductible in the event a major hurricane pays us a visit.
Coverage for possessions is plenty
If a hurricane blows your house away, you can be sure it will take your furniture, clothing and other personal property with it. A good renters and homeowners policy should be able to cover at least most items.
Typically, homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for your personal belongings at 50 to 70 percent of the insurance on your dwelling. To ensure this amount is enough, it’s important to conduct a home inventory.
Coverage for additional living expenses is included
Should a major hurricane tear down your house, chances are you will need to find somewhere else to live while your home is being rebuilt. This is where the additional living expenses coverage in your insurance policy comes in.
A good policy should be able to cover hotel bills, restaurant meals and any other cost that is over and above your normal living expenses. This policy limit is typically 20 percent of the insurance on the structure of your home.
But this would not cover your normal expenses, such as groceries or utilities. Depending on the limit, you may decide to increase the coverage of additional living expenses from an additional premium.