Hurricane season in Florida began June 1. Are you ready?

No, I’m not asking about your hurricane kit or family evacuation plan, although you should have both in place.

I’m asking about your family’s biggest asset, your home. Are you covered for hurricane-related damage to your property? If a hurricane happens to you, will your existing insurance cover it?

Now is the time to find out – especially since most insurance policies require a 30-day waiting period before new coverage for hurricane or flood damage goes into effect. (No insurer will write a new policy when a named storm is on its way, either.)

After 2004, the year that Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne slammed Central Florida (and Ivan devastated other parts of the state), hurricane insurance became more expensive, more complex and harder to obtain.

The Legislature stepped in and created the Hurricane Insurance Affordability and Availability Act. This gives Florida homeowners a wider choice of deductibles to help them control their coverage costs.

Following that lousy 2004 hurricane season, the legislature stepped in with another change. Some homeowners, who suffered damage from more than one storm, were expected to pony up more than one deductible! Now they’re liable for only one deductible per calendar year for hurricane claims.

Here are a few of the questions you should ask when choosing homeowners insurance coverage to protect you from financial losses:

  1. What is wind damage, and is it covered by my homeowners policy?
  2. Is all water damage covered?
  3. Do I need to purchase separate flood insurance for my home?
  4. Is mold damage following a hurricane covered?
  5. Will my hurricane deductible be a percentage or a flat dollar amount?
  6. Will this coverage pay the actual cost to repair or rebuild after hurricane damage?
  7. Will it pay for me to live somewhere else if my home is uninhabitable for a period of time?
  8. If yes, is that amount realistic, given the actual cost of hotels or rentals in my area?

After a hurricane, the last thing you need is to be hung out to dry financially because your homeowners policy didn’t cover what you thought it did. To avoid that, get help from an insurance agent to determine the homeowners insurance coverage you need and the options that work best for your home and your budget.

And remember, everyone’s situation is different. Homes are built from different materials, located in different places. The best hurricane insurance policy for your friend or relative might not be exactly what you need. Perhaps your home is older, or maybe sits in a low-lying area while yours is halfway up a hill. A newer roof can withstand high winds better than an old one can. There are many factors that make a difference in the hurricane coverage you need and its cost.

Find the help you need by sitting down with a Florida insurance agent who can help you determine your needs, answer your questions, offer advice, and shop around for the best policy for you.

Contact Insurance Land today for a no-cost review to make sure you have the hurricane coverage you need now. Because once that named storm is on its way to Florida, it’s too late.