Why can’t I get home insurance before a hurricane?

As far as hurricane season goes, we’re not out of the woods yet. (Hurricane season in the Atlantic goes from June to the end of November.) If you’re trying to get home insurance ahead of a major hurricane, you may encounter a problem: no one’s selling it in your area. There’s a reason that you can’t get home insurance before a hurricane: binding restrictions (a.k.a. moratoriums.)

Well, that doesn’t sound good. But what is that, exactly? We’ll explain.

Why can’t I get home insurance before a hurricane?

Okay. Hurricanes are a very real threat, so it might seem ridiculous that you can’t get home insurance before one hits. You’re willing to pay for it, after all.

So, what gives?

Many insurance carriers issue binding restrictions or moratoriums ahead of hurricanes, meaning that they’re not going to finalize or sell coverage for a short period of time. If there’s a watch or warning for a tropical depression, tropical storm, or hurricane, insurance companies will start a binding restriction for the areas there are supposed to be affected by the storm. The binding restriction will stay in place until after the hurricane passes and is typically lifted a few days after the storm.

(Note that these binding restrictions can also apply to adding coverage to your existing policy. So even if you have insurance, you might not be able to increase your limits of coverage during the binding restriction. You also most likely can’t lower your deductible during this time, either.)

Get a quick homeowners insurance quote today.


What about flood insurance?

Okay, but what if you already have a home insurance policy and you just want to buy flood insurance ahead of a hurricane? Home insurance does not cover flooding from surface water accumulation, after all.

Here’s the deal:

You can buy flood insurance…but it has a 30-day waiting period before it becomes effective with very few exceptions. (One exception could be if someone is closing on a home and it’s required for the mortgage.) This waiting period applies all the time – not just when a hurricane is looming. If a hurricane hits your area within the 30-day period, you could be on your own to cover the damage caused by flooding.

So, if you want to protect your home with flood insurance, be aware that you’ll probably be waiting a month for that coverage to kick in and plan accordingly. The thirty days starts when the policy premium has been paid for in full. (There’s no monthly installment option for flood insurance.)

Don’t delay getting home insurance.

Losses don’t have to be hurricane-sized to be financially devastating for you as a homeowner. Falling trees, fire, lightning, burglary, hail…any of these things could strike your home. Think of home insurance as a financial safety net to protect your bank account from a serious blow if something happens to your house. Maybe you’re worried about how much it will cost, but there are ways to lower your home insurance premium. Anyways, the point is don’t procrastinate getting a home insurance policy to protect your house.

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We would be happy to help you get home insurance or get flood insurance. You can fill out our quote form or give us a call today and our team of insurance professionals will help you get great coverage at a great rate.