What is a Hurricane? Post-Storm Insurance Concerns Flood Insurance Our Andrew Story

PRE-STORM HURRICANE COVERAGE CHECK-UP
Exclusions, Limitations & Options Need To Be Reviewed Before A Loss

As the peak of hurricane season approaches over the next few months, now is the perfect time to carefully consider whether you have the coverage that you need and to be sure that you understand how your coverage works. A quick Hurricane Coverage Check-Up today can help ensure that you have the proper coverage to meet your needs, as well as to understand what is and is not covered by your insurance policies.

There are many details to consider concerning your insurance coverage, but here are a few quick ideas for you to review today:

DO YOU HAVE THE LIMITS OF COVERAGE THAT YOU NEED?

House damaged by hurricaneWhen Hurricane Andrew visited our shores in 1992, many home polices enjoyed Guaranteed Replacement Cost coverage and replaced a home nearly without regards to whether it was properly insured. Today, virtually no insurer offers such coverage, so it’s very important to be properly insured.

For commercial property, it’s critical that your coverage meets any coinsurance requirement or other policy conditions to avoid being penalized after a loss for having too little coverage.

Please consider what you have at risk, what the proper replacement costs are, and whether your policy meets your needs. Construction costs have increased significantly in recent years, and we strongly suggest that you review your coverage and the limits you carry before you suffer a loss.

DO YOU HAVE ALL OF THE COVERAGE THAT YOU NEED?

Damage caused by rising water (flooding) is not covered under most home, wind, or commercial policies. Whether you are in a ‘flood zone’ or not, almost any property can suffer a flood loss in an area like South Florida. Flood and Excess Flood coverage is critical to being properly protected.

It is also important to consider that some home, wind, and commercial policies limit or exclude coverage on certain items such as pool screen enclosures, awnings, or signs.

Read your policy carefully and not to believe that every peril, or every item, is automatically covered. Read your policy exclusions and limitations. Often items that are limited, or excluded, can be added or their limits increased.

CONDO UNIT OWNERS

If you own a Condominium Unit, it’s important to know that Florida law changed in 2004 and that the unit owner is now responsible for interior improvements, such as floor and wall coverings, electrical fixtures, appliances, cabinets and countertops, and air conditioning equipment, which were previously the responsibility of the Association. Do you have enough coverage? Call us for an article that explains the proper manner to insure a Condo and the new law.

NEW WINDSTORM OPTIONS

If you carry a separate wind policy, you should know that newer, broader coverages have recently become available, including Personal Property (Contents) Replacement Cost coverage.

You now have the option to add this broad coverage at an added cost and should consider it if you currently have wind coverage with Citizens.

UNDERSTAND YOUR DEDUCTIBLE

hurricane damageDo you have the proper wind deductible for your needs, and do understand how your deductible works?

Prior to Hurricane Andrew, most policies had a flat deductible of, say, $ 500.00. Today, wind deductibles are expressed as a percentage and typically are 2%, 3%, 5%, or even 10% of all values insured. Commercial policies often have a minimum dollar amount deductible included. Do you know how yours works?

Deductibles can be confusing and costly. It’s important to understand how your deductibles work and what they might cost you in the event of a loss.

DON’T WAIT UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE

Insurers cease writing, binding, or changing (such as an increase or addition) coverage once a storm begins to threaten a region or State. Waiting to renew, place, or alter your coverage until you are “sure” a storm is coming will mean that you cannot obtain the coverage or changes that you want or need in time. It will simply be too late.

Review your coverage now and make any needed changes before it’s too late.



CITIZENS WINDSTORM PUBLICATIONS
Citizens Coverage Changes
Citizens, the State of Florida’s “insurer of last resort”, has recently announced many reductions or eliminations of coverages as it seeks ways to reduce its nearly 1.5 Million policies and the half trillion dollars in exposure it insures. »
The Windstorm Solution
Florida is in the midst of a widnstorm crisis that impacts all consumers. After devatating losses in 2004 and 2005, hurricane (wind) insurance is increasingly neither affordable nor readily available. »
Citizens’ New Commercial Windstorm Insurer
In one of the more creative attempts to reduce it’s exposures to loss, the State of Florida’s windstorm insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation has agreed to renew thousands of commercial windstorm policies into a brand new insurer, Weston Insurance Company. »
FLOOD INSURANCE PUBLICATIONS
Flood Insurance Premium Increase
Effective October 1, 2009, changes to the National Flood Insurance Program will result in premium rate increases for various risk zones, coverage limits for building & contents as well as standard deductibles offered for pre- and post- FIRM properties. »
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