The Insurances You Need For This Hurricane Season
Texas had a rough 2017 hurricane season with Harvey causing major damage to southeast Texas and the Houston metro area. Unfortunately, forecasts from North Carolina State University and Colorado State University are predicting another above-average season for 2018.
It’s important for residents living along the Gulf Coast and in the Rio Grande Valley to begin preparing now for the 2018 hurricane season, which starts June 1st. While residents of deep south Texas have been fortunate to avoid any major storms in some years, all it takes is one hurricane to devastate your home and property.
Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Failing to have the right insurance coverage in place can leave you with a financial burden that may be too difficult to carry. Your insurance claims lawyers at Millin & Millin want to remind you to check your homeowners insurance coverage now in order to protect yourself from any future hurricane-related damages that might occur.
Remember – “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
If you aren’t sure what exactly to look for in your insurance contract or what types of insurances you need to protect yourself during this hurricane season, please consider the following.
During Hurricane Harvey, only 30% of home damages were effectively covered. Property analytics firm CoreLogic found that the vast majority of homes in the path of Hurricane Harvey did not have adequate flood coverage, which means homeowners had to cover more than 70% of damages out of their own pocket.
While you may have general homeowners insurance, you should be aware that most coverages do not offer protection from flooding. Failing to have this protection can leave you in an extremely difficult financial position. Do not wait to protect yourself.
Flood insurance may be purchased through your insurance company or another agency participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If you cannot find a provider, please contact the NFIP Referral Call Center at 1-800-427-4661.
Coverage for High-Value Personal Items
Another coverage that can prove to be vital for protecting your valuables is a high-value personal possession rider. For items such as jewelry, artwork, collectibles, and other types of expensive personal property, this type of coverage works well.
There is generally an appraisal process in order to properly value the item and to ensure you are paying sufficient premiums for it. If you are afraid of having a family heirloom or luxury item become damaged, obtaining high-value personal item coverage should be a top priority.
Temporary Living Expenses
Depending on the type of home insurance coverage you have, temporary living expenses may be fully or partially covered. A few of these expenses covered include:
- Rental costs for housing
- Food and dining
- Moving and transportation costs
- Pet boarding
Thoroughly check your policy to see if any temporary living expenses are covered and for how long.
Pay Attention to Your Deductible
Even with the right amount of coverage, too high of a deductible can still leave you in financial trouble. You’ll need to do a review of your policy and make sure that you have enough money set aside to pay the deductible in case of an emergency.
If you are unable to pay the deductible right away, it can become more challenging over time to obtain the benefits that are rightfully yours.
Protecting Your Family
Protecting your home and property is of utmost importance but we know that keeping your family safe is your number one priority. Luckily, there is usually enough warning time to prepare your family for a hurricane. Some of the most important steps you can take to protect your loved ones include:
- Be familiar with evacuation routes
- Know where your local emergency shelters are at
- Create a hurricane kit that includes:
- One gallon of water per person for up to 7 days
- Fill bathtubs with non-drinking water for multiple purposes
- First aid kit and medications
- Tools and supplies
- Specialty items for the sick, elderly, and infants in your family
You’ll also want to make sure that all important documents, including your homeowners insurance policy, are in a safe place where they cannot be destroyed.
If you are having to file a home insurance claim, it’s likely due to the fact that you just dealt a terrible event. Having to deal with the bad faith tactics of an insurance company is the last thing you need on your plate during this time.
Depend on the responsiveness of the insurance claims legal team of Millin & Millin to get you the justice you deserve when seeking compensation after a natural disaster like a hurricane.