Home insurance policies typically cover damage caused by strong winds, including hurricanes. However, your policy may have a separate deductible for damage caused by the hurricane. According to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), many insurers offer personal property coverage of 50 to 70% of the insured value of your home. A hurricane moratorium is a period of time after a hurricane is forecast in which insurance companies do not subscribe to new policies or allow the coverage of existing policies to be updated.
While some insurers allow customers to pay a higher rate in exchange for a fixed-rate insurance deductible (such as standard homeowners and renters insurance policies), this option may not be available in all areas. Factors such as global warming may be causing hurricanes to increase in intensity and frequency, meaning homeowners along the coast must understand how their homeowners insurance coverage reacts to these storms. Renters insurance policies are similar to homeowners insurance in that they cover certain damages associated with hurricanes, as long as the event is mentioned or is not excluded from your policy. Deductibles designated for storms and hurricanes are higher than standard home insurance deductibles and are often set as a percentage of home coverage.
A standard home insurance policy usually doesn't cover floods, but you can purchase flood insurance separately through the National Flood Insurance Program or in the private market. Debris removal after a hurricane can easily exceed that limit, so it's a good idea to check if your insurer offers a coverage endorsement to increase reimbursement for debris removal. Hurricane deductibles save insurance companies money because they set higher limits on what you'll have to pay before your insurance “goes into effect” and starts paying your repair bills. If you live close to the coast, understanding what your home policy will and won't cover is key to finding the right hurricane insurance.
Hurricane deductibles are generally activated by an official hurricane resolution from the National Weather Service, but they may vary slightly by state and insurance company. Flood insurance sold through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is issued under FEMA and is sold primarily through private insurance companies. Homeowners insurance helps pay for additional living expenses if you move temporarily after a covered loss, such as a hurricane. Hurricane deductibles apply only to damage caused by named storms, while wind and hail deductibles apply every time an insurance claim is filed for this type of damage.
Flood insurance is not an individual insurance policy, but rather works as additional coverage that you can purchase in addition to home and personal property coverage.
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