Hurricane Season Starts June 1 – Get Ready!
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1, and homeowners should already be checking their insurance coverage. They are advised to first look at their deductible, and most coastal properties will have a separate deductible for hurricane damages, which are generally based on a percentage of the home's insured value rather than a flat dollar amount. Homeowners should be wary of increasing hurricane deductibles to lower their insurance premiums because it could leave them underinsured during a serious catastrophe. Insurance Information Institute spokesperson Loretta Worters says hurricane deductibles are distinct from the deductible for other sorts of damage to the home and usually go into effect when a storm is categorized as a hurricane by the National Weather Service — or in some cases, when a storm is named, even if does not become a hurricane. Download disaster prep resources from the NAIC.
Standard homeowner policies don't cover damage from floodwaters, even if it is caused by a hurricane's storm surge, Worters noted. Homeowners must buy separate flood coverage, either through the National Flood Insurance Program or from private companies. There is often a waiting period (30 days, in the case of federal flood insurance) before flood policies take effect.