With permission from iii.org
The hurricane season takes place June 1 – November 30 each year. Do not wait until you have lost to check your insurance – review your homeowners or tenant policies so that you have the right coverage in the event that you are hit by a destructive storm.
Make sure your home's structure has adequate coverage
Standard homeowners insurance covers the structure of your home for disasters such as hurricanes and windstorms, along with a host of other disasters. It is important to understand the parts that can affect your insurance payment after a hurricane and adjust your insurance accordingly.
- Understanding Your Hurricane / Windstorm Deductions ̵
A hurricane deduction guild is only applied to hurricanes, while a windstorm deduction validity applies to all types of wind. If your policy has a deduction for hurricanes, it will clearly state the specific "trigger" that would cause the deduction guarantee to take effect.
Unlike the standard "dollar deduction approval" for a homeowner policy, a hurricane or windstorm deduction is usually expressed as a percentage, usually from 1 to 5 percent of the insured value of the structure in your home.
If you live in an area with a high risk of hurricanes, your hurricane deduction may be a higher percentage. Depending on your insurance company and the country where you live, you may be able to pay more money in premiums in exchange for a lower deductible.
Like all deductibles, a hurricane or wind power deduction effect will affect the bottom line of your insurance payment. If you have a deductible with a high hurricane or windstorm, you may want to consider saving the extra money you may need to rebuild your home.
A common exclusion is floods. People tend to underestimate this risk, but 90 percent of all natural disasters – especially hurricanes – include some form of flooding. If you live in a flood zone or hurricane prone area, a separate flood insurance is a must.
Another common exclusion is sewage backups (which are also not covered by flood insurance). areas prone to hurricanes.
Get to know all the exceptions in your insurance and either talk to your insurance staff about buying separate coverage or be prepared to pay out of pocket for the damages excluded in your insurance.  If you own a co-op apartment or apartment – check with your management company and the bylaws to understand what is covered by the building's main insurance policy compared to what damages you need to cover in your own co-op or apartment owner insurance.
Make sure your belongings are adequately insured
Imagine the cost of repurchasing all your furniture, clothes and other personal belongings. Whether you have homeowners insurance or rent insurance, your policy provides protection against loss or damage due to a hurricane.
- Determine the value of your belongings with a home inventory – Create a complete inventory of your belongings and their value makes it easy to see if you are sufficiently insured for either compensation costs or cash value for the goods. It will also help speed up the process of insurance claims and help provide evidence of losses for tax or disaster relief purposes.
- Review your policy to ensure you are adequately covered – Homeowner policies include approximately 50 to 70 percent of the amount of your home insurance policy. If you rent, know that your landlord insurance only covers the structure of your home – you need a tenant policy to protect your property from loss or damage.
Make sure your police provide adequate coverage for additional living expenses
Living expenses (ALE) cover the extra costs incurred if you need to live elsewhere because your home is made uninhabitable as a result of a hurricane (or other insured disaster) ). While your home or apartment is being repaired or rebuilt, ALE covers hotel bills, restaurant meals, etc. – expenses in addition to what your normal living costs would be at home. Generally, the ALE policy limit is 20 percent of the insurance amount in your home structure. Standard policies for tenants also include ALE.
- Most insurance companies offer the option of higher coverage limits – Depending on where you live (which may dictate your expenses), you may want to consider a higher ALE.
- ALE refunds may be limited to a specific time – Make sure you are comfortable with the time limits in your policy.
- If you rent out part of your home, ALE coverage also compensates you for lost rental income. Make sure your policy reflects the current amount of your rental income.