How the hurricane season can impact your home and auto insurance, expert says
The 2021 hurricane season is off to a strong start, already causing billions of dollars in damage along the east coast. And just days after Hurricane Ida ravaged parts of the northeast, Hurricane Larry threatened to strike the region again with flash floods and tornadoes.
Since these storms affect areas that do not typically experience hurricanes, residents of those areas may not be prepared to deal with the consequences of storm damage – and they may not be properly insured, either.
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Does home insurance cover damage caused by hurricanes?
A standard home insurance policy usually does not cover all types of hurricane damage, especially when it comes to water damage.
It may be imperative to purchase a separate flood insurance policy if you live in an area susceptible to storm surges. Many lenders require flood insurance for homeowners who live in a flood-prone area from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The great thing that you need to think about is making sure you have the right type and amount of coverage. A standard home insurance policy will cover you for damage caused by wind. You need a separate policy for flood insurance, usually sold by the insurer who sold you the home insurance policy.
Still, only 12% to 15% of Americans have flood insurance, Barry said.
If you want to add flood insurance to renters insurance or a standard home insurance policy, make sure your carrier offers coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). You can also find an NFIP accredited flood insurance provider. on the FEMA website.
Those who live in a state frequently affected by hurricanes and other natural disasters, such as Florida or Louisiana, may also consider purchasing separate hail or windstorm insurance. Plus, additional personal property coverage ensures that you won’t be forced to pay the full cost of replacing your personal property.
Contact your insurer to see what your current policy covers. If you are not happy with your current coverage, you can browse for more comprehensive home insurance policies on Credible.
Auto insurance can cover hurricane damage to your car
Hurricanes can cause damage from hail, fallen trees and flooded vehicles. Fortunately, the vast majority of insured drivers choose to purchase comprehensive auto insurance, which covers all types of risks.
âIn contrast, almost 4 out of 5 flooded vehicles will be covered,â Barry said.
âThey want to keep you as a customer, they know it’s a competitive market,â Barry said. “If there was to be a raise that the policyholder was not happy with, there would be a lot of competition.”
It may also be worth shopping for a new auto insurance policy if you think you are overpaying. You can compare quotes from multiple auto insurers for free on Credible.
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What to do if you’ve been hit by a storm
While extreme weather can be unpredictable, it’s important to know if you live in an area affected by inclement weather conditions and what your insurance covers. Prepare ahead for hurricane season by following the hurricane watch and warning updates on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website.
If it’s too late to prepare and you’ve been hit by a hurricane before, follow these steps:
- First of all, make yourself safe. Flood damage can wear down your home’s foundation, jeopardizing its structural integrity. Over time, standing water can lead to harmful mold, which requires expensive repair.
- Contact your insurer. Take detailed notes and photos of the damage to your belongings and to your property as a whole. Be sure to keep receipts for all storm-related charges to send to the adjuster, so you can get compensation.
- Apply for financial assistance through FEMA. If you’ve been affected by flooding from a natural disaster but don’t have the proper insurance, you may be eligible for federal assistance to cover additional living expenses. Visit www.disasterassistance.gov ask for all kinds of financial aid to help with housing, employment, medical bills, legal fees and food.
Now is the time to prepare for the current hurricane season. You can find the right owners and the right auto insurance policies for your needs by shopping at Credible. It’s free to compare quotes from multiple insurance companies within minutes.
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