ORLANDO, Fla.— As part of the hurricane preparedness series, this story intends to get you better informed, so you put your insurance related maters in order, before an actual storm approaches our area. First of all, we all know that now is the time to prepare the highly important and so many times mentioned in our website: Home Inventory.
Reviewing your current flood insurance and have a clear understanding of the differences in terms of insurance coverage, between hurricane damage and flood damage.
Your agent at Orlando Insurance Center will gladly assist you reviewing your current coverage and providing expert advice on what you can do to be better protect your property.
One thing we had learned with Irma and Maria was not to be completely reliant on FEMA for assistance for a few reasons.
According to CNN, recent disaster response and recovery efforts have been handicapped by decisions made before disasters strike. Less than 20% of Hurricane Harvey's flood victims carried flood insurance. The under-insurance of private property translates directly into a requirement for more federal assistance and contributes to an inability to repair or replace damaged homes as federal relief grants cover only a fraction of a home's value. This lengthens recovery time.
The purchase of flood insurance is mandatory for nearly all homes with mortgages located in FEMA-defined high-risk flood zones, but it is not required for homes without mortgages in high-risk flood zones or homes outside high-risk flood zones. Uninformed homeowners will not buy flood insurance unless they are required to do so—and not all homeowners in flood-prone areas are required to buy flood insurance.
As reported by News 4 JAX on June 1, 2018 from Middleburg, Florida:
MYTH: I already have homeowner's insurance, so everything on my property is covered and I'm financially prepared for the storm season.
FACT: All homeowner's insurance policies contain limitations and exclusions. Also, you may need a separate policy for windstorm or flood if these coverages are not included in your homeowner's policy. It is important to review your policy to understand your coverages and exclusions.
MYTH: When an insurance company denies a claim, or provides an inadequate claim payment, I must pay out-of-pocket to cover any additional expenses from damages that occurred to my property.
FACT: You should always get a second opinion to verify the cause of loss and/or the cost to repair or replace the damage.
MYTH: When contractors offer to waive my insurance deductible to provide repairs at a discounted rate, this is simply a kind gesture.
FACT: Waiving the deductible or providing a discounted rate directly to you is a form of insurance fraud.
MYTH: An Assignment of Benefits (AOB) agreement is the only way to get immediate assistance for Floridians who have damage to their property.
FACT: You do not need to sign an Assignment of Benefits to get your residence repaired, even for emergency repairs. You should make first contact with your insurance company by immediately reporting the claim.
MYTH: Insurance companies can take as long as they want to respond to an insurance claim filed by Floridians.
FACT: Typically, insurance companies must acknowledge your insurance claim within 14 days from the date the claim was reported and they must pay undisputed amounts of your claim within 90 days from the date of damage.
MYTH: If my neighbor's property is blown into my yard and damages my own property, my neighbor's insurance will cover the cost of damage.
FACT: The damage to your property is covered by your own homeowner's insurance policy, unless, you can prove your neighbor was negligent then the damage would be covered under their homeowner's policy.
MYTH: My insurance agent is the only person I need to contact when filing an insurance claim.
FACT: While you may call your agent, you should immediately report the claim to your insurance company. Most insurance companies have a toll-free claim number to report your claim.
If you have questions, remember that we have answers for you, so just “click or call.”
ENJOY LIFE RESPONSIBLY!