- Standard homeowners' policies west of I-95 usually cover windstorm damage caused by wind or hail. If you live in an area east of I-95, you are in a designated windstorm area and must acquire windstorm insurance through the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (CPIC). Check with your agent to ensure your policy does not include a windstorm exclusion.
- Standard homeowners' insurance does not cover flood damage. Contact your agent about obtaining flood insurance. This process involves a 30-day waiting period between the time you purchase the insurance and the time it becomes effective, unless it is for a loan closing.
- A special hurricane deductible applies to policies. Choose a deductible plan that makes sense for you.
- Most companies will not accept new applications or make changes to an existing policy during a “hurricane watch.”
Update Your List of Personal Belongings
- Itemize your inventory
- Include costs
- Attach receipts to inventory
- Take photographs or videos and date them
Review Your Insurance
- Examine your policies to ensure you have adequate coverage. Has your home increased in value? Have you purchased expensive items such as electronics or major appliances? Have you made improvements since your purchase of your home?
- Know what your policy does and does not cover. Standard homeowners policies usually limit coverage on valuables such as jewelry, guns, boats, or computers. You may need extra coverage for these items.
- If you live in a condominium or multi-family dwelling, check to see what coverage you have through your association and know the coverage for which you are separately responsible.
- If you rent, ensure that your belongings are adequately insured.
- Check into coverage for additional living expenses. Most policies will pay for some expenses if your home is so damaged that you cannot live there while repairs are taking place. These could be limited to motel, restaurant, and warehouse storage expenses. They will only pay amounts for which you show verification. So, if you want to get reimbursed, you have to keep all food and lodging receipts for the period you are homeless.
- Know whether your insurance policy is for actual cash value, which pays the cost to replace your belongings minus depreciation, or replacement cost, which reimburses you for the actual cost to replace items.
- Contact your agent to discuss possible policy changes. Consider increasing your coverage if your policy doesn't cover the current value of your home and its contents.
- Gather all appropriate contact information. Your insurance company, agency, agent and underwriter may all have different names.
Safeguard Your Records
- Keep copies of important insurance records in a safe deposit box or with friends/relatives.
- Keep a set of copies at home. Take it with you if you are going to evacuate.
Updated June 2014