Hurricane season is on the way. Are you prepared?

Many Florida homeowners have tried to save money in recent years by limiting the hurricane coverage in their homeowner’s insurance policies. While all homeowner’s insurance policies in Florida cover wind damage from named hurricanes, the extent of overall hurricane coverage can vary. For example, flood insurance is an optional add-on. The same is true of mold and fungi coverage. Many homeowners fail to add these types of insurance riders because they cost more and they may seem unnecessary–it has been nine years since a hurricane hit Florida, after all.

While Floridians have enjoyed a break from major hurricane activity since Wilma hit the U.S. shoreline in 2005, it is still important for homeowners to be prepared for storms. In fact, the director of the National Hurricane Center was recently interviewed by the Orlando Sentinel, and he told the newspaper that hurricanes will strike Florida again.

The official hurricane season is June 1 to Nov. 30, and researchers have predicted that three hurricanes will be among nine named storms to occur this year. It is not clear whether any of these are likely to strike Florida.

Many storms have impacted Florida in recent years, but the last Category 3 storm was also Wilma.

While it is fortunate that we have not experienced a hurricane or Category 3 storm in years, the relatively calm weather may have given rise to a false sense of security. Rick Nabb, of the National Hurricane Center, is concerned that many Floridians do not have evacuation or survival plans in place, let alone sufficient insurance coverage because they underestimate the risk.

Florida homeowners who are unsure of the type of insurance coverage they need may benefit from discussing this with an insurance attorney. It is also important to be aware that if your home is damaged by hurricanes or storms, insurance adjusters are very likely to undervalue the damage. In order to secure the compensation that you deserve, it is important to seek legal counsel when filing a claim.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, “Florida has hurricane lull before storm, expert says,” Kevin Spear, April 15, 2014