How Does Hurricane Insurance Work?

Unfortunately, hurricanes cause millions of dollars in property damage every year. If you are a resident of the state, you may have heard of hurricane insurance but perhaps aren’t all that familiar with the details. What do you need to know if you’re considering getting hurricane insurance?

What Is Hurricane Insurance?

Hurricane coverage is often part of homeowners insurance, but homeowners should take care to make sure. Homeowners can purchase hurricane insurance separately if they are not specifically covered in their homeowners policy. Although coverage varies, it always includes damage to the home caused by storms and wind-driven rain, such as shingles and siding. However, many policies do not cover the flooding associated with hurricanes, so be sure to check your policy to see if you should purchase flood insurance as a supplement. This type of insurance usually doesn’t kick in until the weather service names the storm, so the policy doesn’t cover getting unlucky during a strong storm.

What Does Hurricane Insurance Cover?

The two categories for what hurricane insurance covers are property and contents. Property refers to the building itself as well as the land it sits on. As a general rule, policies cover a minimum of 80% of the value of the home should it be a total loss, or smaller amounts depending on specific damage. Policies cover contents as well, but the insurance companies are typically not as generous in this category. They often give the lowest possible value for compensation.

What Does It Not Cover?

As homeowners insurance and hurricane insurance cover most items in the event of damage, it would be prudent to discuss what these policies do.

  • Anything Underground – Homeowners and hurricane policies do not cover any improvements made in a basement, such as finished walls. They also exclude any contents such as computers or furniture.
  • Currency and Documents – If you keep cash in the home or any precious metals, your hurricane insurance would not cover their loss. They also don’t include important documents such as wedding licenses or passports.
  • Damage-related Expenses – This would include housing while the home is under repair or business losses if the homeowner conducts any business in the home.

How Much Does Hurricane Insurance Cost?

This can vary wildly depending on where the home is located and its value, ranging from as little as $300 per year to more than $20,000. In addition, keep in mind that most insurance also have deductibles when making a claim. Homeowners can do a few things to keep the costs down, such as installing storm shutters. In Miami-Dade country, for example, installing hurricane-mitigation improvements can drop the price of insurance by as much as two thirds. Because each company’s policy varies, it would be best to speak with them directly to see what would qualify for the discounts and how much it would end up being.

Is It Worth It?

Just as with any other type of optional insurance, you should research to see if the cost justifies the expense. If you’re buying a home in a new area, see how often hurricanes affect it, searching online or asking those who live locally. Also, be sure to check the exact coverage of the policy you’re considering, comparing as many companies as possible, remembering that coverage can vary greatly. Finally, remember that if nothing else, having hurricane insurance primarily offers what most insurance does: peace of mind.

If you have additional questions about hurricane damage and insurance coverage, contact us. Our Tampa hurricane claim lawyers can help you with your hurricane claims.