Hurricane-Ready: Insurance information

Hurricane-Ready: Insurance information (Image 1)

A good homeowner’s (or renter’s) insurance policy is critical. Discuss the following with your insurance representative:

  1. Most homes in Florida have a special deductible for hurricane damage. Ask about your policy and potential out-of-pocket cost.
  2. Prepare a complete home inventory with photos. Videotape if possible and store in a safe-deposit box.
  3. Does your policy cover the actual cash value (replacement cost, less depreciation) or replacement costs?
  4. Do you need insurance riders on special items?
  5. Is a windstorm insurance policy required?
  6. Do you need flood insurance?

FLOOD INSURANCE

  • Standard homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage, including storm surge, from a hurricane.
  • Flood insurance is available to all residents in all participating communities. There is usually a 30- day waiting period.
  • If more than half of your home is damaged and is not built to current standards, it will have to be elevated and retrofitted.
  • Permits for any type of construction or reconstruction in the floodplain is required.

FILING A CLAIM

  • Notify your insurance agent as soon as possible and have your policy number on hand.
  • Ask when you can expect an adjustor to visit your home.
  • Present photos and inventory of damaged items, including their age and value.
  • Have any receipts and estimates on hand.
  • Be patient. Cases are expedited based on severity or hardship.

FLOOD SAFETY

  • Avoid flooded areas, high velocity flow areas, and areas subject to sudden flooding. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
  • Roads may not be intact under flood waters and the depth of the water is not always obvious. Turn around and go another way.
  • If the vehicle stalls, leave it and seek higher ground. Rising water may engulf the vehicle; sweeping it away.
  • Use caution at night when it is more difficult to recognize flood dangers.
  • Keep children away from high water, storm drains and viaducts.
  • Throw out any food that came in contact with flood waters.
  • Use flashlights (not lanterns, torches or matches) to examine buildings. Flammables may be inside.

FIND OUT IF YOU’RE IN A FLOOD ZONE

Flood maps are usually kept on file at your local county courthouse, municipal office or library. For additional information, call FEMA’s Map Service Center at 1-800-358-9616.

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