37ºF

It's time to review hurricane insurance, agent says

Many caught off guard by Matthew

photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With hurricane season less than a month away, a local insurance agent is urging local residents to review their policy now.

Changes that individuals make to their insurance policy or additions like flood coverage, take 30 days before they take effect.

Because of that, customers who wait too long, may not be covered if another storm like Matthew hits our area. As hurricane Matthew swept through our area, it was the first time many had thought about their hurricane insurance coverage in years.

"It did create some concern, but not as much as I would have liked to have seen," Russ Vorhis, a State Farm agent, said. "One of the jobs we do in my office is to try to get clients prepared for the worst and recover from the unexpected."

Vorhis said his office received a lot of calls after Matthew, many questioning the 2 percent deductible, much higher than the standard $500 or $1,000 deductible. He said because it had been so long without a hurricane in the area, many residents had forgotten what the details of their coverage.

He recommends reviewing policies once a year with an agent.

"You don't want to try to buy a generator when a hurricane is bearing down on you," Vorhis said. "The same thing goes for your insurance plan. You want to have all of your Is dotted and your Ts crossed before that day comes. And eventually it will come to northeast Florida."

Vorhis said in the days before Matthew hit, his office had a lot of calls from people wanting to make policy changes, but by then, they were restricted on what they could do. The same will happen again if our area is in a storm's path this year.

Vorhis said another reason to review a policy with an insurance agent is to make sure you have the right coverage. He said some people realize during those reviews they are either over overinsured or underinsured.

He said the best time to realize that is well before a storm, not after it.