Homeowners Insurance: The Hurricane Season Isn’t Over Yet
From June through the end of November, Florida’s six-month hurricane season is a turbulent time for residents. Hurricane damage and tropical storms can lead to flooding, roof damage and other forms of property damage that is, hopefully, covered by your homeowner’s insurance.
Prevalence of Tropical Storms and Hurricanes in Florida
Tropical storms have sustained winds of between 39 and 73 mph. Hurricanes have sustained surface wind of 74 mph or greater. Major hurricanes can have winds that reach 110 mph (Category 3) or higher.
Throughout hurricane season, Florida averages the following:
- 6 hurricanes
- 3 major hurricanes (category 3 or higher)
- 12 named storms
Northwest Florida experiences the most hurricane damage, followed by the Southeast and Southwest.
In 2021 already (late September), there have been four major hurricanes across the country, with over $55 billion damages. Homeowners insurance covers many of these properties, but there may be steps you’re not taking that will reduce your chances of having your own damages covered.
What to Look for in Homeowners Insurance Policy to Determine Coverage
You may have hurricane damage coverage on your homeowner’s insurance policy, but that doesn’t mean that all damage is covered. You’ll want to look through your policy to see the following:
- Wind damage. Check to see if your policy covers wind damage. Some policies only cover partial wind damage, while others will exclude wind damage completely. Due to the strong winds of a hurricane, you need to ensure that you have full wind coverage. Additionally, is hurricane damage covered under your standard deductible, or is there a separate deductible for hurricane damage?
- Flood damage. Hurricane season brings massive amounts of water to Florida. Does your policy cover flood damage from a hurricane, or do you need to have a separate flood insurance policy?
Insurance is complicated, and assuming that your hurricane coverage is enough is a common mistake. There are complex clauses that may cover you if wind damages your roof and the storm pours water through the hole in the roof. However, if you didn’t take the proper steps to protect your home, you’re still going to have to pay a deductible and deal with insurers.
It’s best to avoid hurricane damage by taking precautions prior to any damage, such as: