What Is Hurricane Insurance?
The combination of home insurance and flood insurance generally offers the most comprehensive coverage against hurricane disasters and can help mitigate the financial fallout that arises from hurricane damage. Keep in mind that hurricane-prone states may require a separate deductible for hurricane coverage while other states may require you to add a windstorm rider to your home insurance policy. The cost of these coverages varies from one state to another and from one carrier to another. Continue reading for an in-depth look at what hurricane insurance is and how it can help protect your property.
What Type of Insurance Policies Cover Hurricane Related Damage?
Several types of insurance policies can help mitigate damages caused by hurricanes. The first is homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance traditionally covers your living structure and personal belongings from minor winds. This is sufficient coverage for those living in states like Arizona, California, Michigan, Nevada, and Washington. However, an additional windstorm rider is required for those who live in states prone to hurricanes such as Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, New York, Texas, and Washington DC. This rider can cover damage from a hurricane of any magnitude. Those with these riders will be required to pay a second hurricane deductible before their coverage kicks in. Keep in mind that homeowners insurance will not typically cover flood damage caused by hurricanes. Flood damage will need to be covered by a separate flood insurance policy. You can find a flood insurance policy through the federally backed National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or through private carriers.
If you're renting property, you will likely need renters insurance to cover damages to your belongings. If you are renting out property to a tenant, landlord insurance can help cover your property from wind-related damages caused by a hurricane. Note that renters insurance and landlord insurance will not cover flood damage. A separate flood insurance policy is needed. You will also need to consider the damage to your car caused by hurricanes. Make sure you have comprehensive insurance, which covers windstorms and floods.
How Much Is it to Get Insured for Hurricane Damage?
The cost of hurricane insurance will vary depending on your carrier and your location. You will also need to factor in what type of policy you're using to cover damages caused by a hurricane. Below is a breakdown of the national averages for the various types of insurance that can help cover hurricane damage.
$1,000 - $2,500
Coverage for wind and flood insurance will be much more expensive in areas that are prone to hurricane damage. The breadth of coverage and limits will also help dictate the price. The more coverage and the higher the limits, the more you will need to pay for your insurance policy.
Are There States Where Hurricane Deductibles Apply?
It is not uncommon for states that have major hurricane events to have two separate deductibles, a homeowners deductible and a hurricane deductible. Specifically, the hurricane deductible is triggered only when a hurricane or tropical storm has occurred. However, the trigger event can still vary somewhat by state and carrier. Triggers may include the National Weather Service declaring a hurricane watch/warning or specifying the magnitude of the hurricane. Timing is also a common factor. For example, the damage may need to occur within 24 hours before the storm is named.
The following states currently charge hurricane deductibles:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- Washington DC
How Are Hurricane Deductibles Calculated?
The hurricane deductible can be a fixed dollar amount but is usually a percentage of the total insured value of your home. Deductibles can vary from 1% of a home's value to over 10% of a home's value. Remember, this percent is of the home's insured value/dwelling coverage and not a percent of the damage caused by the hurricane.
How Do You File a Hurricane Insurance Claim?
Contact your insurance provider right away if you have suffered damages from a hurricane. Be sure to take pictures of the damage before any temporary fixes are done to the property. Always provide receipts to your insurance company for supplies used to make temporary fixes you hope to be reimbursed. Also, bear in mind what is and is not covered by your policy. Things like floods are not typically covered by your homeowners insurance while wind damage usually is. Consider purchasing a separate flood insurance policy to help mitigate damages caused by floods. You should also check to see if your homeowners insurance will help cover living expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable due to hurricane damage.
Is it Necessary To Have Both Home and Flood Insurance for Hurricanes?
It is necessary to have home insurance and flood insurance depending on where you live. Some states require an additional windstorm rider on your home insurance policy in order to cover damages caused by excessive winds caused by a hurricane. Keep in mind that home insurance will not cover flood damage. An additional flood insurance policy would be required even if the flood was caused by a hurricane. Both private insurance companies and those associated with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can provide flood insurance policies.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?
Renters insurance can cover damage caused by hurricanes. Specifically, it covers damage to your belongings caused by hail, lightning, windstorms, wildfires, and the weight of ice, snow, or sleet. Like home insurance, renters insurance won't cover flood damage. Instead, a separate flood insurance policy would need to be purchased.
Do I Need Windstorm Insurance?
This depends entirely on where you live. Nineteen states and Washington DC require a separate windstorm insurance policy for those in high-risk areas. Windstorm insurance is a rider you can add to your homeowners policy that offers coverage for various windstorms including hurricanes of all magnitudes. Below is a list of the states that require windstorm insurance:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- Washington DC
Coverage is also divided into several parts:
Coverage A (Dwelling) protects your home and attached structures
Coverage B (Other Structures) protects unattached structures
Coverage C (Personal Property) insures personal belongings
Coverage D (Loss of Rent) reimburses lost rental income
Coverage E (Loss of Use) pays for additional living expenses
Keep in mind there may be an extra windstorm deductible that is separate from your homeowners deductible depending on where you live. You will need to pay this first before your coverage kicks in.
How Much is Hurricane Insurance in Florida?
The average cost of homeowners insurance for a $250,000 home in Florida is $919.79 a year while the average cost of flood insurance is $633. This brings the total cost of hurricane insurance for homeowners in Florida to $1,552.79. There is also an additional deductible that Florida residents must consider. This deductible only comes into play with certain triggers. Triggers can include a hurricane watch/warning being declared by the National Weather Service, the damage from a hurricane occurring within 24 hours before the storm is named, or by the magnitude of the hurricane. Florida insurance companies are required to offer their customers several options for choosing a deductible. The choices are $500, or 2%, 5%, or 10% of the coverage amount you have for your home. This deductible will need to be paid before your insurance kicks in.
Make Sure You're Protected and Get Covered
You can use various insurance policies to help protect you, your home, and your personal property from hurricane damage. There are 19 states that require a separate deductible for hurricane insurance. This insurance is called a windstorm rider. This rider is required for anyone who lives in a high-risk hurricane state. The deductible for this rider is typically calculated as a percentage of the total insured value of your home. While homeowners insurance can help protect against wind damage, it won't protect against flood damage. Make sure you get flood insurance in order to cover your bases if you live in a coastal area. To get the best insurance package, enter your zip code below and fill out a quick questionnaire to receive free homeowners insurance quotes for the lowest rates in your area.