Okay, we get that it might seem a little early to be talking about hurricane season. There’s nothing to worry about quite yet, is there? There’s still time before the big storms hit, right? Well, sure, but the thing is that it’s important to give yourself time to get your insurance situation sorted out. Here are five things to know about hurricane season and home insurance – we’ll explain why it’s never too early to prep your insurance for hurricane season.
5 things to know about hurricane season and your home insurance.
1. Atlantic hurricane season is June – November.
Atlantic hurricane season starts in June and doesn’t wrap up until November. So, that’s why it’s important to start getting prepared insurance-wise sooner rather than later. It’s never too early to check your insurance policy to make sure you have the coverage you need – or to get home insurance if you need it.
2. Give yourself lots of time to get the coverage you need – binding restrictions could happen.
So, something else you need to know about home insurance and hurricanes is called a binding restriction.
A binding what now?
Basically, it means that you probably can’t get home insurance right before a hurricane.
A binding restriction or moratorium means that an insurance carrier decides to stop selling and finalizing coverage for a short period of time.
Insurance companies issue binding restrictions when a tropical depression, tropical storm, or a hurricane threatens a certain area. (Typically a watch or warning for those things triggers the beginning of the binding restrictions, which apply to the places that are supposed to be affected by the storm.)
Anyways, the point we’re trying to make is that it’s important to make sure that you have the home insurance you want in place well in advance of any hurricanes – otherwise, you could run into a binding restriction. If you hear on the news that you’re in the path of a hurricane or tropical storm, it could be too late to get home insurance and any agent you call might break the news that it’s not going to happen.
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3. Keep in mind that you may not be able to increase your home insurance limits or lower your deductible.
Okay, so let’s say that you already have a home insurance policy, but you hear about an impending hurricane and want to get higher limits of coverage. Or maybe you want to lower your deductible (the amount you’ve agreed to pay if you have a home insurance claim.)
Well, that plan might also be foiled by binding restrictions. Be prepared for that and make adjustments to your coverage if you need to well in advance of a whopper storm. It’s best not to assume that you’ll be able to tweak your insurance to lessen the blow of the impending disaster if a storm’s coming.
4. Remember that home insurance doesn’t cover flooding.
It’s also important to know that home insurance does not cover flooding, meaning that a lot of water has accumulated on the ground and it gets into your house. Many homeowners don’t realize that their normal home insurance doesn’t cover flooding. And then if they face a flooding loss, they find out after the fact that their home insurance won’t cover the claim.
To protect your home against flooding, you would need to get a flood insurance policy. To do that, you’ll probably have to go through an agent and get the policy from the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program.) So, if you want to make sure that you’re covered for flood-related losses, get flood insurance. You can insure your house for up to $250,000 and your personal belongings for up to $100,000.
5. Know that flood insurance takes 30 days to be effective.
One important thing to know about flood insurance is that it takes 30 days for a policy to become effective. That means you need to get your flood policy in advance of any storms or water-related accumulation situation. There are very few exceptions to the waiting period. (One of which is if you need the flood insurance policy to get, increase, or extend a mortgage loan.)
So again, this is why it’s important to think about hurricane season and prepare for it well in advance. Even if you’re not on the coast and you’re safely inland, a hurricane can still cause heavy, heavy rains that can lead to flooding and surface water accumulation on the ground outside.
And so, to recap, hurricane season is nearly upon us. And that means it’s time to make sure that you get home insurance, get flood insurance, or read over your current insurance to make sure that you have enough coverage.
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