JACKSONVILLE, Fla — According to the Insurance Information Institute, the cost to replace homes has gone up 55%, making it crucial to evaluate current home, flood, and wind insurance policies to make sure you have adequate coverage.
Unless you are in the position to replace your home out-of-pocket, you need to have the proper amount of coverage, or you could be left homeless or living in unlivable conditions.
What homeowners need to know this hurricane season:
Prepare: Find out exactly what your insurance policy covers. Homeowners policies do not cover flooding. You can only purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program and there is a 30-day waiting period (unless in connection with an increase, extending, or new home loan) before flood policies take effect. If you live in a rental property, your landlord’s insurance only covers the building.
None of your personal belongings are insured unless you purchase your own renters’ policy.
Document: Go room to room in your home and write down the brand name, description, estimated value and date of purchase of items in your home. It is also helpful to compile receipts, appraisal documents and serial numbers.
Take videos or photographs of your belongings. Store your home inventory and related documents in a safe, easily accessible place on a cloud or in a fire-proof box.
Damage: Should you suffer damage this season, you should immediately contact your homeowners’ insurance agent or company to report the loss. Make a list of the damages and take clear pictures before you make any temporary repairs.
Even if you have a separate windstorm or hail policy in addition to your homeowners’ policy, your primary homeowners’ insurer will investigate and adjust the claim even if you have wind or hail loss. Do not make any permanent repairs until your insurance company has inspected the damage and you have agreed on the cost of the repairs.
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