The time to review your insurance is before disaster strikes

Insurance policy details are critical. As hurricane season is in full swing, it is important to review your policy. Remember: If Florida is under a hurricane watch or warning, it is likely too late to purchase insurance.

Here are some details to review about your insurance:

  • Windstorm insurance typically carries a much higher deductible than other coverage.
  • Take your insurance documents with you if you leave the area because of the storm.
  • Scan your insurance documents into your computer and then mail those files to an email account.
  • New or increased coverage cannot be issued when a tropical storm or hurricane watch or warning is in place for any part of Florida.
  • Consider purchasing flood insurance, which is usually written separately from homeowners insurance.
  • Make certain the amount of your coverage matches the value of your home. List any steps you have taken to protect your home, such as installing storm shutters.
  • Understand in the event of a loss, you would receive the cash value of your belongings or whether your policy specifies replacement.
  • Understand what is covered…or not.
  • When hurricane warnings are issued, the Florida Department of Financial Services is mobilized to assist with insurance and banking questions.
  • The toll-free hot line is 800-22- STORM.
  • Everyone lives in a flood zone in Southwest Florida. You don’t simply need to live near the water to be flooded.
  • Many flooded areas are caused by overloaded drainage systems.
  • Flood damage is not covered by your home owners policy.
  • You can purchase flood insurance no matter what your flood risk is, as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • A maximum of $250,000 of building coverage is available for single-family residential buildings and per unit in a condominium. Commercial structures can be insured to a limit of $500,000.
  • Call your insurance agent for details about how to get flood insurance.
  • Plan ahead because there is usually at least a 30-day waiting period before any flood insurance goes into effect.
  • Content coverage is separate.
  • Up to $100,000 contents coverage is available.
  • Federal disaster assistance is only available if the President declares a disaster. A rule of thumb: About 90 percent of all disasters in the United States are not declared disasters by the President.
Writer:Lincoln Saunders
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