As we head into the 2021 hurricane season, there are several things you can do to thoroughly understand your property insurance.
Hurricane Insurance Preparedness
According to the North Carolina Department of Insurance, here are a few things you should do as soon as possible:
- Review Your Policy: Make sure it lists all of the coverages you need and understand what it doesn’t cover.
- Know Your Insurance Company Information: The insurance carrier’s name may be different from the name of the insurance agent or agency. Many independent agents provide insurance from multiple carriers. Know the name of your insurance company, your policy number, and your agent’s contact information.
- Pay Your Premium: Make sure to pay your premium in full to avoid cancellation. There is no grace period for homeowners insurance. Use an automatic payment option to ensure you never miss a payment.
- Update Your Home Inventory: Keep a running inventory of your belongings; preferably a digital copy stored online. Record serial and model numbers of electronics, equipment, tools, and computers.
Common Hurricane FAQs
Here are a few answers to some of the most common storm-related questions:
Q: If a storm damages my roof, will the insurance carrier pay to replace the entire roof?
A: No. A homeowners policy will only provide coverage for direct physical damage for the areas impacted by the storm. The new shingles do not have to match the existing materials if the original product is unavailable.
Q: What is depreciation?
A: The amount of money required to repair the home after subtracting the decrease in value due to age and use is the depreciated value.
Q: What’s the difference between Actual Cash Value and Replacement Cost Value?
A: Actual Cash Value (ACV) is the depreciated amount. Replacement Cost Value covers replacing the policyholder’s belongings at today’s cost of similar or like items.
Q: Will homeowners insurance cover the cost to remove a tree that fell in a yard during a windstorm?
A: No, unless the tree has damaged a structure or blocked the driveway.
Q: What happens if my neighbor’s tree falls on my home? Whose insurance covers the damages?
A: Typically, your insurance would cover damage to your home or other structure resulting from a storm regardless of where the object originated.
Q: If a storm damages my vehicle in my driveway, will my homeowners insurance cover the cost of the repairs?
A: No. Your auto insurance will cover the damage if you have comprehensive coverage.
Q: Does my homeowners insurance cover floods?
A: No. You must purchase flood insurance separately. The federal government offers several options under the National Flood Insurance Program. For more information, visit www.floodsmart.gov.
Remember, your insurance agent is available to help you understand your policy and suggest the correct coverage options based on your needs. If you do not understand something listed in the policy, reach out and ask your agent to explain the coverage.
Visit https://www.ncdoi.gov/consumers for additional information about various types of insurance.