Orlando, FL — Oh Florida, we love our weather! We never get to shovel snow, and water sports are almost a year round affair.
Even though our fantastic weather is highly valued and appreciated by us, one thing Floridians learn is how to deal with storms. One funny fact about it is to watch tourists running away from stormy weather inside the theme parks in Orlando. You get to distinguish who is local and who is visiting. Locals acknowledge the storm by simply finding a temporary on-premise shelter as they know it will probably go away in a few minutes.
As soon as temperatures start to raise by springtime, those isolated storms and severe weather threats make its appearance. Not to mention the Atlantic Hurricane Season which officially begins in June 1st, according to the National Hurricane Center.
As fine as it all is with us, the not-so-funny part comes when your property is at risk.
Do you know when is the right time to secure your property and valuables with insurance? Well, ideally your property, specifically your home, is insured from the moment your signed liable for your mortgage. If that is not your case, the right time for securing it against hurricanes and other threats is precisely when the risk is not imminent or off-season.
Now is the time to check your homeowners or renters insurance—and make sure you’re well-prepared in case a storm comes your way! If feels horrible to find out you did not get the right kind of coverage while already filing a claim.
A standard homeowners insurance policy normally covers hurricanes, wind, theft, fire, explosion, lightning strikes and some other disasters.
REVIEWING YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE MUST BE INCLUDED IN YOUR STORM READINESS CHECKLIST.
Two things we want to stress on are:
- Make sure you’ve made a thorough home inventory consisting of a detailed list of all your belongings and its estimated value. You may refer to our previous blog on renters insurance for tips on making an adequate inventory of personal property.
- Three words — Additional Living Expenses — a.k.a. ALE gets activated when you need to evacuate your home due to damage of a hurricane or another insured disaster.
It covers customary living expenses like hotel stay, food and other expenses of living out of your home while it’s being rebuilt or repaired. Many policies offer this feature for a limited amount of time. At the time of reviewing your policy, make sure you feel comfortable with what you will receive.
It also covers loss of rental income if you were renting out part of your home.
If you live in a hurricane prone area, like we all do here in Orlando, you must consider a Sewer Back-Up Coverage to protect your property from runoff water that may not be covered by your standard homeowners policy. A separate flood insurance is a must! Ninety percent of all natural disasters involve some kind of flooding. FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program or NFIP provides coverage for up to $250,000 in replacement cost coverage on the structure of the home and $100,000 in actual cash value for personal belongings. However, you must know how it works:
IMPORTANT: 1) There is a 30 day wait period for your flood insurance policy to kick-in. Having said that, this is one important item of your checklist that you must not leave for the last minute. 2) Your compensation will depend on the amount of deductible you choose. 3) It does not include coverage for additional living expenses or ALE. 4) For a broader coverage, you must consider excess flood insurance provided by private insurance companies.
Some homeowners coverages can provide additional protection against hurricane damage and rebuilding costs of your property:
◦ Extended Replacement Cost Policy – pays an additional 20 percent or more above the policy limits.
◦ Guaranteed Replacement Cost Policy – pays the full amount to rebuild your home whatever the ultimate cost.
◦ Inflation Guard – automatically adjusts the coverage limits to reflect changes in construction costs.
◦ Ordinance or Law Coverage – pays a specified amount for rebuilding to new building codes, should your community
adopt stricter codes.
ENJOY LIFE RESPONSIBLY!