Published: Jun 02, 2010 3:18 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 02, 2010 12:24 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla.-- Before the storm you should think about trying to get your homeowners hurricane insurance lowered.

If you've had any work done on your home that would qualify you for a discount, you'll have to let the insurance company know.

"People think, 'Oh, I put a new roof on two years ago, my insurance company should know that.'  Well, they don't know that unless you tell them," says Terrance Cerullo, Community Outreach Coordinator, Department of Financial Services.

Here's what else the Florida Department of Financial Services recommends:

You'll need an inspector to check out and certify any hurricane-proofing you've done to your home.  Call your insurance company to see if they provide this service, but it could cost you around 150 dollars for an inspection which comes out of your pocket.  However, discounts could be up to 400 dollars or more on your insurance bill.

Also, before the storm you should probably have a financial tool kit on hand.  It should hold copies of documents like telephone numbers, bank accounts, copies of wills, deeds and insurance policies as well as a complete list of your possessions.  Consider giving copies to people who live inland to keep safe for you.  Take pictures of everything so that even without power you'll be able to determine what you lost.

These tips should speed up the insurance claim process.

For more information on how to prepare financially for a storm, click on the following link:

Florida Division of Financial Services