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How Hurricanes Affect Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners Insurance

Many homeowners face a long road to recovery after hurricane damage. Homeowners insurance covers a lot of the repairs, but only some things. The biggest challenges include sewage, mold and downed trees or branches. In addition, flood damage is not covered by homeowners insurance. That’s why homeowners must opt for a separate flood policy.

Wind Damage

Whether from falling tree branches or uprooted power lines, the direct force of wind can cause major hazards and damage. Homeowners can expect a lengthy recovery process and significant financial loss when this damage occurs. When a hurricane is strongest in Florida, sustained winds can seriously threaten homes and property. At this point, roofs experience structural damage, and trees risk being blown over. Homeowners’ insurance policies typically include a separate “named storm” or hurricane deductible and the standard dwelling coverage deductible. This deductible is generally a percentage of your dwelling coverage and may range from 1% to 10%.

While preventative measures such as fortifying your roof and removing overgrown limbs can mitigate the impact of hurricane damage, you’ll also consider adding a flood insurance policy to your home protection plan. If you live in an area at risk of flooding, this coverage may help pay for relocating your belongings and rebuilding with Florida window and door.

Flood Damage

The combination of wind and heavy rainfall typically accompany hurricanes, leading to flooding and other water damage. Flood insurance isn’t included in homeowners’ policies, but you can get it through the National Flood Insurance Program or by purchasing a separate policy from private insurers. Scientists and engineers better understand how buildings and structures fail under hurricane-force winds, and building codes have improved to reflect this knowledge.

However, there are still significant risks of flood and debris damage. Homeowners often buy a home warranty to cover repair costs. But homeowners should also purchase additional living expense coverage, which can help pay for hotel expenses and other incremental costs if you’re displaced during repairs after a hurricane. You’ll usually be reimbursed up to a certain amount for this, and you can generally increase the limit for more protection. 

Personal Property Damage

In addition to home structural damage, hurricanes often significantly damage personal property. Fortunately, most standard homeowners and renters insurance policies offer protection against this kind of damage. Some insurers may even cover replacing personal belongings damaged by a hurricane. It is why it’s important to ensure your policy includes personal property coverage.

It’s also worth mentioning that most insurance companies will require you to pay a separate hurricane deductible in addition to your regular home insurance deductible. This type of deductible was introduced after Hurricane Katrina to help prevent insurance companies from going bankrupt by paying large numbers of wind damage claims after a major storm. Consider purchasing a policy that offers increased limits for additional living expenses depending on your circumstances. It can help cover the costs of a hotel and food while your home is being repaired after a hurricane.

Additional Living Expenses

Homeowners’ insurance policies typically include additional living expenses coverage and reimburse displaced homeowners for extra costs like hotel stays and food expenses while their home is being restored. The range depends on the policy and often includes a percentage of the homeowner’s insurance dwelling limit or a portion of the personal property coverage limits.

If you can stay with family or friends, the insurer usually compares the nightly rate of your accommodations to a reasonable hotel rate before calculating how much you’ll be reimbursed. Restaurant meals that match your typical spending will likely qualify for reimbursement, but lavish meals that exceed your usual expenses won’t. Loss-of-use coverage, also known as additional living expense (ALE) insurance, is included in most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies. The insurance company typically sets a default amount of ALE coverage, but you can ask for higher limits for more protection. Remember that ALE coverage only applies to extra expenses caused by the peril listed in your policy.

Also, Read – 7 Things All Homeowners Need

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