What type of coverage do you need?

Orlando, Fla.— Now that we need to start our preparations for storm season it is important to begin certain steps that can be done early and could prevent major problems or damage to your property.


If your home has a beautiful landscape and surrounding trees, you must take a look at their overall condition. Those that are leaning or one-sided need to be pruned and now is the right time to take care of those issues, not when the storm is already a threat, and you must use your time wisely on your established priorities.

With the large amount of rain that usually come with storms and hurricanes during this season, sometimes the soil softens too much. If the tree is leaning to one side, and its weight not very well distributed, it can topple over and create more problems depending on its proximity to your property. If the tree is a large one, it might even affect your neighbor’s property and you should avoid it at all cost.

This work is best performed by specialized contractors like professional arborists. For your benefit, you may want to contact two or three different companies to compare service versus cost. This will help you make the right decision not only in financial terms but in job specifications. It is also a good idea to accompany the crew to work so that you can be sure they work in the direction you want them to and not find surprises.

After the Storm or Hurricane
Make sure you reset and stake all small trees, protecting its roots. In the case of fallen large trees, it is usually best to have them removed. Some of their branches may be already broken but still hanging from the tree and you need to pay careful attention to those since it can cause additional problems or damage down the road.

Why keeping your home’s surroundings safe helps you save money?
In Florida, the typical homeowner's policy has a 2% hurricane deductible, and the average insured value is $250,000, according to a spokeswoman for the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation

Many homeowners in five coastal states, including Florida and Texas, are unaware that hurricane deductibles exist. About one-fourth of survey respondents in those states said they didn’t know whether their home-insurance policies included hurricane deductibles, according to a 2017 survey by the Insurance Research Council.

Prevention is key
Hurricane deductibles make insurers more willing to offer policies in high-risk areas and encourage homeowners to take steps to prevent storm damage.

What triggers a hurricane deductible?
Deductibles can be triggered by hurricanes, high wind speeds, earthquakes or other disasters. The triggers vary depending on region and insurer.

A hurricane watch or warning does not authorize the use of the percentage deductible but defines when the use of the percentage deductible can begin and when it must end - to the benefit of consumers. An insurer could not impose the deductible on damage to a home from a sudden severe thunderstorm when a hurricane system is still hundreds of miles and several days from Florida because a watch or warning would not have been issued. Carriers must stop imposing the percentage deductible 72 hours after termination of the last watch or warning, so damages from severe thunderstorms which often occur a week or more after a hurricane would be subject to the general deductible.

These deductibles were widely put in place after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and have been standard in many states for years. But they have rarely been triggered on a large scale because few hurricanes have landed in the U.S. over the past decade.


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