Your home is no doubt your most valuable investment. That’s why you have a homeowners insurance policy to protect it. But even the best policy won’t pay for every kind of hurricane damage. If there’s water damage you need additional protection.
If you live near the coast and a tropical storm or hurricane hits, understanding what your homeowner’s policy is key if your items are lost or damaged. If there’s flooding and water damage that homeowner’s policy you have won’t cover your belongings.
The fact is the two major sources of hurricane damage are wind and water. If you want coverage, you’ll need separate policies.
“If you live in the state of Florida, you should have a flood insurance policy,” said Joel Shapiro of the Shapiro Group. “In the state of Florida, most folks live in a coastal county or in a low-lying area or near a body of water. People don’t realize one out of every four flood claims occur in what FEMA would label a low-risk area or a B-C or S zone.”
That flood insurance will cost the average homeowner about $500 a year, according to Shapiro.
When you obtain that insurance is very crucial. You don’t want to procrastinate.
“You want to get a head start on this,” Shapiro said. “Normally once hurricane season begins, and you have a storm that comes into our area, it’s kind of too late. A lot of insurance carriers will not let you make changes at that time. Contact your agent now and make those changes to your policy,” he said.
If you have renter’s insurance, it’s the same story. If there’s water damage, your renter’s policy only goes so far. Shapiro said you’ll need a separate flood insurance policy as well to cover water damage.
It’s also a good idea to document the things you have in your home so if a storm hits and you lose assets you have proof to show the insurance company.
“We recommend our clients just take a video around your house,” Shapiro recommends. “If you have anything extra valuable, then spend more time with that. Document it by videoing and that’s your best evidence.”
Additionally, Shapiro said more expensive items, including jewelry, will also require additional coverage and he says you should ask your insurance agent if you need an insurance rider to cover those items.