Here are a few insights in to understanding your homeowner’s policy as it pertains to hurricanes. Every company may have different language so this is not intended to be a comprehensive explanation of your policy but a more general explanation of coverages and terms provided by home policies. If you have specific questions, contact one of our team and we would be glad to help you.
1. Flood insurance is NOT covered under homeowners insurance policy. Flood insurance covers damage from rising waters not wind driven water. Many lawsuits after Katrina were filed relating to this issue. We live in New Orleans. Our city is shaped like a bowl. Make sure you have a standalone flood insurance policy.
2. Wind & hail deductible vs. named storm deductible. Your homeowner’s policy will have either a Named Storm deductible or a wind & hail deductible. The named storm deductible comes into play when damage is caused by a named storm whereas the wind & hail deductible comes into play if you sustain any wind damage regardless if it is a named storm. Know which one you have on your policy it could make a big difference.
3. Additional living expenses. If you cannot live in your house because of damage from the storm, your policy generally will provide money for additional living expenses that you incur. An increased food bill because you need to eat out more often or the added cost of renting a hotel while your house is repaired generally are covered. Typically the amount of coverage provided is 10% of the value your house is insured.
4. Mitigate damage after the storm passes. If you sustain damage during the storm, take pictures of the damage and prevent any further damage from happening if you can. Save your receipts. Generally the insurance company will reimburse you for preventing further loss to your property.
Remember if you need to report a claim, call your companies claim department. The phone number is listed on your policy.
When your claims adjuster comes out to see your damage, treat them well. It will make an already stressful situation much smoother for both of you.
If you are one of the lucky to be counted among our clients, “Like Us” on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/GISNOLA as in the event of an emergency it serves as an excellent way for us to send out important information.