Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hurricane Insurance




As Hurricane Irene recently hit the East Coast of the USA, many residents are reaching for their home owners insurance documents to better understand how well they're protected against damages. Understanding the basics of how you're protected can provide some peace of mind now and inform decisions when you seek insurance quotes in the future. When specifically dealing in the Mexican Caribe area American Development supplies the latest updates regarding trends in policy conditions for commercial and residential applicants.  

So first, the good news: wind damage often is covered under the standard homeowner policy. So if shingles are torn off, trees knocked down or windows shattered, the resulting damage to structures included in the policy likely will be covered. And unless you live in a high-risk area with special hurricane deductibles - based on a percentage of the home's replacement cost - the standard dollar deductibles should apply.

However, it's important to note that a standard home insurance policy may not cover wind or wind-blown water damage if you live near the coast. In such circumstances, you may be required to purchase a separate windstorm policy. Now the bad news: flood damage is not covered by standard homeowners insurance. This often comes as an unpleasant surprise to homeowners."This is the biggest misperception that homeowners have," says Michael Barry, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute (III).

After Hurricane Andrew, a rare Category 5 that struck southern Florida in 1992, insurers won permission to create separate, higher hurricane deductibles in high-risk coastal states, such as the Carolinas. These deductibles are based on a percentage of the home's insured value and can be as high as 10 percent (or, with special permission, even higher), although they are often lower. A homeowner with a 2 percent hurricane deductible on a home insured for $300,000, for example, will be responsible for the first $6,000 of repairs.

Separate windstorm insurance deductibles may also exist. The dollar amount of the hurricane deductible is pre-calculated and is spelled out on the declarations page of your policy. Insurers typically have different standards for hurricanes and tropical stores- “Deductibles vary from company to company and state to state, so everyone needs to read their policy or speak to an agent or company representative to find out exactly what the hurricane deductible is and when it applies,¨ says one industry executive. However, when specifically dealing in the Mexican Caribe area American Development supplies the latest updates regarding policy conditions for commercial and residential applicants. 







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