1 Insurance Mst prperty wners have hmewners cverage insuring them frm catastrphic lss. Did yu knw that a typical hmewners plicy des nt prtect yu frm lss in flding r rising water? If yu dn t have fld insurance, check with yur insurance agent fr a price qute n yur hme and yur furnishings. Dn t wait until the hurricane warning has been issued. There is a 30-day waiting perid befre fld insurance becmes effective, unless yu are a new hme-buyer. Make a checklist t assist in determining yur insurance needs. Additinal infrmatin can be btained frm yur cunty emergency management ffice. Hurricane Insurance Basics Hmewner, mbile hmewner and renter s insurance usually cver the fllwing : Wind damage Rain damage that is a result f rain entering thrugh a wind-damaged area Theft Vandalism and fire If these damages ccur, the insurance pays fr emergency repairs t prevent further damage, additinal living expenses, debris remval, actual cash value r replacement value f the damaged prperty, all depending n the plicy. Fld insurance is sld separately, but usually in cnjunctin with hmewner s, mbile hmewner s and renter s insurance. It cvers damage by the fllwing types f water: Waves/tidal actin Overflwing rivers, creeks, r lakes Grundwater runff Als cvered by fld insurance are repair r replacement f damaged r destryed buildings; cmpensatin fr damaged r destryed persnal prperty at it s actual cash value; and debris remval. The cmprehensive sectin f an aut insurance plicy usually cvers cars damaged by hurricanes. Persnal Prperty Prtectin Insurance Terminlgy Prvides prtectin against cvered lss t mvable prperty like a stere, bicycle, furniture, r clthing. Mst hmewners plicies set aside special cverage limits fr certain items r categries f prperty like jewelry, mney, and securities. Yu can increase the cverage limits fr thee and ther pssessins by selecting ptinal cverage with an endrsement r amendment t yur base plicy. Family Liability Prtectin Prvides prtectin fr insured persns wh becme legally bligated t pay fr cvered accidental bdily injury r prperty damage t thers. This prtectin des nt cver aut liability claims. Guest Medical Cverage Prvides prtectin fr yur guests, wh are accidentally injured n yur prperty as a result f a cvered lss. This prtectin pays fr the reasnable and necessary medical expenses they incur, regardless f wh was at fault. Additinal Living Expenses Cverage.
2 Reasnable increases in living expenses necessary t maintain yur nrmal standard f living when a direct physical lss is incurred will be paid. The amunt varies by the value f yur hme. This is paid while yur residence is uninhabitable fr up t the amunt f time specified in the plicy. This may include payments fr the additinal csts f a place t stay, fd, and ther increased living expenses. Replacement Cst Cverage. In the event f a cvered lss, yu may reimbursed fr the cst yu incur t replace many f yur damaged cntents with similar prperty, brand new. The ttal amunt yu d be reimbursed is subject t the terms and cnditins f yur particular plicy, including applicable deductible and cverage limits. BEFORE THE STORM Make sure that yu have adequate cverage Prperty values have increased markedly ver the past few years. Als, yu may have made sme imprvements that increased the value f yur hme. Make sure that yu review yur insurance plicy carefully and knw yur cverage limits. Cnsider increasing yur cverage, if it is nt adequate. Check Yur Plicy fr Fld and Windstrm Cverage As we stated earlier, a standard hmewners plicy des nt cver fld damage caused by rising water. If yu live in a fld prne area, yu shuld talk t yur agent abut btaining fld insurance. Standard hmewners plicies usually cver windstrm damage caused directly frm wind r hail. Check t be sure a windstrm exclusin has nt been written int yur plicy. If yu have any questins abut whether yur plicy cvers windstrm damage, cntact yur insurance agent. Cntact Yur Agent t Discuss Pssible Plicy Changes Yur insurance agent can prvide infrmatin abut rates and cverage and can assist yu in making any necessary plicy changes. Knw What Yur Current Plicy Des and Des Nt Cver Standard hmewners plicies usually limit cverage n items such as valuable jewelry, art cllectins and antiques. Yu may need additinal cverage fr them. If yur hme is 50% r mre destryed, it may cst mre than yur hmewner s plicy will pay t build it back t CURRENT building and life safety cdes, unless yu have a rider added t it, which cvers this cntingency. Mst hmewners plicies d nt cver backup f septic tanks r sewers int yur hme, unless yu have added a rider t yur plicy cvering this type f flding. Update Yur List f Persnal Belngings Make an itemized list f yur belngings, their cst, dates f purchase, and serial numbers, if apprpriate. Yur insurance cmpany will prbably require prf f the cst f any item fr which a claim is made. Phtgraphs and/r videtapes are als gd ideas that yu may wish t cnsider. Safeguard Yur Recrds Keep a cpy f yur insurance plicies and inventry recrds in a safety-depsit bx r with a relative r friend. If yur prperty is damaged, it will be t yur advantage t have access t this infrmatin. Yu may chse t take a cpy with yu if yu evacuate. Fld Insurance: The Natinal Fld Insurance Prgram (NFIP) ffers fld insurance t residents in cmmunities like urs, which adpt apprpriate standards and land-use cntrls. The NFIP requires new cnstructin and recnstructin in fld-prne areas t elevate at r abve the Base Fld Elevatin t reduce the risk f flding in the building itself. The NFIP als requires structures damaged mre than 50 percent f the value t be rebuilt t current standards, including elevating the structure. Make sure yur insurance plicy will cver the replacement csts f yur hme and belngings and any additinal csts t rebuild.
3 1. There is usually a 30-day waiting perid befre the cverage ges int effect. 2. Federal disaster assistance is NOT the answer. 1. Everyne lives in fld zne. Yu dn t need t live near water t be flded. Flds are caused by strms, melting snw, hurricanes, and water backup due t inadequate r verladed systems, dam r levee failures, etc. 2. Fld damage is nt cvered by hmewner s plicies. Yu can prtect yur hme, business, and belngings with fld insurance frm the Natinal Fld Insurance Prgram. Yu can insure yur hme with fld insurance fr up t $250,000 fr the building and $100,000 fr yur cntents. 3. Yu can buy fld insurance n matter what yur fld risk is. It desn t matter whether yur fld risk is high, medium, r lw, yu can buy fld insurance as lng as yur cmmunity participates in the Natinal Fld Insurance Prgram. And, it is a gd idea t buy even in lw r mderate risk areas; almst 25 percent f all fld insurance claims cme frm lw t mderate risk areas. 4. There is a lw-cst plicy fr hmes in lw t mderate-risk areas. The Preferred Risk Plicy is available fr just ver $100 per year. Yu can buy up t $250,000 f cverage fr yur hme and $60,000 fr yur cntents. 5. Fld insurance is affrdable. The average fld insurance plicy csts a little mre than $300 a year fr abut $100,000 f cverage. In cmparisn, a disaster hme lan can cst yu mre than 4300 a mnth fr $50,000 ver 20 years. 6. Fld insurance is easy t get. Yu can buy NFIP fld insurance frm private insurance cmpanies and agents; call yur s tday! Yu may be able t purchase fld insurance with a credit card. 7. Cntents cverage is separate, s renter s can insure their belngings t. Up t $100,000 cntents cverage is available fr hmewners and renters. Whether yu can rent r wn yur hme r business, make sure t ask yur insurance agent abut cntents cverage. It is nt autmatically included in yur building cverage. 8. Up t $1 millin f fld insurance is available fr nn-residential buildings and cntents. Up t $500,000 f cverage is available fr nn-residential buildings. Up t $500,000 f cverage is available fr the cntents f nn-residential buildings. 9. There is usually a 30-day waiting perid befre cverage ges int effect. Plan ahead s yu are nt caught withut fld insurance when a fld threatens yur hme r business. 10. Federal disaster assistance is nt the answer. Federal disaster assistance is nly available if the President declares a disaster. Mre than 90 percent f all disasters in the United States are nt Presidentially declared. Fld insurance pays even if a disaster is nt declared. AFTER THE STORM Beware f Fly-by-night Repair Businesses Hire reputable and preferably lcal service peple. They shuld have ccupatinal licenses issued by either the City r the Cunty. Reprt Damage t Yur Insurance Agent Immediately Yur agent shuld prvide yu with claim frms and arrange fr an insurance adjuster t visit yur prperty and assess the damage.
4 Make and Dcument Emergency Repairs Yur plicy prbably requires that yu make emergency repairs t prevent further damage t yur hme r cntents. Keep all receipts and take phtgraphs f the damage befre and after emergency repairs t submit with yur claim. Take Precautins if the Damages Require Yu t Leave Yur Hme Secure yur prperty. Remve valuable items. Lck windws and drs. Cntact yur insurance agent and leave a phne number where yu can be reached. These same precautins shuld be taken, if yu are required t evacuate, befre a strm. Lting Lting has ccurred in many cmmunities after a hurricane. Criminals may take advantage f the pprtunity t enter evacuated hmes and businesses. Lcal law enfrcement agencies and, if necessary, the Natinal Guard will d everything pssible t minimize lting. Place jewels and valuables in a sealed freezer bag in yur safety depsit bx r take them with yu when yu evacuate. Peple wh want t make insurance claims must d tw things: 1. Give ntice f lss - Let yur insurance cmpany knw yu've sustained a lss. Yu can d this by phne r in persn. 2. Shw prf f wnership and damage - dcumentatin f what yu lst and what it was wrth. It's fairly easy t dcument yu had a hm - it's n the prperty tax rlls. The cunty prperty assessr can give an estimate f its assessed value. As fr rdinary husehld items - furniture, appliances, clthing - yu'll be cvered. There usually isn't any type f cntrversy ver that. Yu likely wn't get an argument if yu say yu had a TV and VCR, even withut receipts, but if yu try t claim that yu just had yur entire kitchen redne last mnth with tp f the line appliances, be prepared t prvide receipts r dcumentatin frm yur suppliers. Cntrversy arises when yu claim unusual items; jewelry, artwrk, furs, antiques, withut receipts r dcumentatin. Ideally, yu'll have separate insurance riders fr these big-ticket items, and appraisals fr unique r valuable items such as wrks f art. Receipts and appraisal dcumentatin belng in yur safe depsit bx. BEFORE A HURRICANE THREATENS, THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVES SUGGEST: Read yur plicy t see exactly what cverage yu have. If yu dn t understand, get yur agent t explain it. Find ut whether yu have guaranteed replacement cst insurance what wuld it really cst t replace yur hme and cntents at current value. Or d yu have actual cash value depreciated cst? Des yur plicy have an autmatic inflatin guard t keep up with yur csts? Be aware that yur hmewner s plicy des nt cver fld damage. Yu must have separate fld insurance thrugh the Natinal Fld Insurance Prgram. Many hmewner s plicies als have windstrm prtectin which is an additinal cst and deductible. If yur plicy des nt have windstrm prtectin, either purchase it r ensure yur plicy cvers hurricane windstrm damage. Knw yur insurance carrier and make sure yu have the phne number fr the cmpany. Keep yur plicy in a safe place; if yu evacuate take the plicy with yu.
5 If yu rent, be aware that yur landlrd s insurance des nt cver yur pssessins. Yu need yur wn renter s insurance plicy. Als, if yu live n the grund flr f an apartment r cndminium r in a single family dwelling, yu will als need t purchase fld insurance. There is a 30-day waiting perid n fld insurance frm the time yu apply t the day it is effective. If yu wait until the hurricane warnings g up it is t late. Likewise, when a hurricane watch r warning is annunced, agents lse their binding authrity their authrity t enact insurance plicies until the watch r warning is cancelled. Sme insurance cmpanies will nt write plicies when a trpical strm is in the Atlantic r Gulf.