Whether you live in a hurricane-prone area or are just looking to reduce your insurance costs, there are several tips you can follow.
Among them are knowing your deductibles, evaluating your coverage, and taking advantage of discounts. Also, filing claims and dealing with damage promptly will help you avoid financial loss.
Know Your Deductibles
A deductible is an out-of-pocket amount before insurance coverage kicks in for a claim. It can be a specific dollar amount or a percentage of the insured value on your policy. Knowing your deductibles to evaluate your coverage and understand how they can affect your hurricane insurance costs is important.
Generally, hurricane deductibles are set at a percentage of your home’s insured value. They range from 1% to 5%, though they may go as high as 10% in hurricane-prone areas.
If you’re concerned about the hurricane deductible on your policy, ask your agent to sit down with you and crunch the numbers. This way, you can choose a deductible that will work best for your budget and financial goals.
Also, you should ensure your hurricane deductible applies only to named storms. If a hurricane or tropical storm causes damage, you must pay the deductible before your insurance company pays for repairs.
Most homeowners insurance policies will include a wind or hail deductible, but it’s important to note that these are separate from hurricane deductibles. Check your policy’s declaration pages to determine what you’re covered for.
Evaluate Your Coverage
The hurricane insurance cost can be expensive, but there are ways to save. First, you need to evaluate your coverage.
Most homeowners have a policy that protects their property against damage from flooding and wind. But if you live in an area especially susceptible to hurricanes, you might need separate hurricane and flood insurance.
To get the best price, you need to know your home’s value and how much hurricane coverage you need. It would help if you also looked at your deductibles.
A higher deductible can be more expensive than a lower one. The deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance company starts paying for your claim.
In some states, policies covering hurricanes come with a special deductible, typically between 1% and 5% of your total policy. The deductible is based on your location and how likely you are to be hit by a hurricane.
Those factors can make the difference between a policy that costs $2,555 and $5,500 per year. That can be a significant difference if you’re dealing with major storm damage or even having to replace your roof.
A good insurance agent can help you determine what’s covered and what’s not. Reviewing your declarations page and discussing potential risks with your agent can help you get the right coverage at a reasonable price.
Take Advantage Of Discounts
When it comes to reducing your hurricane insurance costs, there are some ways you can do it. From bundling to paperless billing to paying your premiums in full and installing protective devices, plenty of options can save you money without sacrificing coverage.
You can also take advantage of discounts for things like smart home gadgets and take measures to prepare your home for a storm. The most common and effective discounts for hurricane-proofing your home include a discount on a new roof, hurricane-resistant windows, or impact-resistant doors.
For homeowners wanting to get the most bang for their buck, the best way to save is by communicating with your insurance company to see what savings are available. By reviewing your policy at renewal and taking advantage of all the discount opportunities available, you may reduce your hurricane insurance costs significantly. Talk to your agent about making your home and property more hurricane-proof.
Don’t Wait To File A Claim
The sooner you file a claim for hurricane damage, the faster you can receive a settlement. Waiting too long to report your insurance claims could cost you money and prevent the insurance company from assessing the full extent of the damage and helping you rebuild.
When you file a claim, it’s important to provide evidence of the damage to your insurance company. This includes photos, videos, and receipts of anything you own that was damaged by a hurricane.
Keep records of all your conversations with your insurance company, and jot down dates, names, and other important details to reference them later in your claim. It also makes re-filling out the claim form easier and ensures you receive the best settlement possible.
Documenting your belongings, regardless of where the storm damaged them is also a good idea. This will help you get a more accurate estimate of what your home is worth and ensure you get the highest compensation from your insurance company.
Some insurance companies offer a home inventory app to make this process more convenient. This will take the guesswork out of estimating the value of your home’s contents and completing the hurricane insurance claim forms.