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Common Homeowners' Questions for Hurricane Season


1. "Do I have enough coverage?"

So many times policyholders want to lower their dwelling coverage to reduce premium but in times when there is a catastrophe the cost to rebuild goes up because the demand goes up for labor and materials.  You want to plan for these unexpected increases. 

2. "What if we don’t want to rebuild at the same location?"

You may rebuild at a different location.  The policyholder would receive a cash settlement up to the policy limit by most carriers, rather than be forced to rebuild in a place that is either highly likely to sustain damage again, or that may have become the site of painful memories.

3. "Why not distribute funds up front to make it easier to begin repairs?"

Some carriers hold back partial payment until a homeowner proves that repairs are underway.  Carriers do this to make sure the property is being repaired.

4. "Would we really have to stay in a hotel room if our home becomes uninhabitable?"

Most standard carriers generally cap loss of use coverage (coverage D) at 20% of the dwelling limit. Specialist carriers are less likely to cap limits at a percentage, and instead typically provide coverage for “reasonable expenses” required for homeowners to maintain their normal standard of living.    The loss of use coverage may cover temporary living,  meals if you have lost the use of your kitchen and laundry services if you cannot use your laundry room.

5. "Will my out-of-pocket be different in a major storm than, say, a fire?"

Some carriers do have higher deductibles for hurricane.   Make sure you know all of your deductibles.

7. "Is there a difference in how insurers reimburse tree damage?"

Recent superstorms snapped trees and left them on homes, driveways, fences, lawns, pools and power lines. Some standard homeowners’ coverage helps provide for the removal of trees that have fallen on the home or a driveway. 


8. "Flood insurance is flood insurance, right?"

Homeowners’ policies exclude coverage for damage from flood, that includes rising groundwater following a storm which is considered flood.   Excess flood insurance is available since the NFIP’s limits might exhaust quickly when a large home is flooded. Further, some provide solutions to enhance flood coverage with things like replacement cost for contents in secondary homes; additional living expenses and basement improvements; and a single contact to navigate and accelerate claims involving wind and water damage.

9. "How much coverage do we have if our homeowners’ association assesses us for damage?"

Standard insurers may only reimburse for such assessments  and some meaningful fraction thereof to cover assessments issued for the association’s deductible.

One of the best ways to get prepared for hurricane includes knowing your insurance coverages and your deductibles and adjust your protection plan accordingly.

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