Did You Ever Wonder? Insurance Q&A


By Harvey Brown Special to The Pineapple Question: What are the “Top 3” things I need to do for hurricane season? Answer: Before you bother with shutters, batteries, and ice, do this right now: 1. Make sure your insurance is in force. (i.e., that it hasn’t lapsed.) You’d be surprised how many homeowners/renters have let their coverage lapse without realizing it. This could be due to the company canceling coverage or the insured simply failing to pay on time. Be sure your coverage is in effect because you typically can not get coverage right away for wind or flood, except for a new home purchase. Citizens Wind and the National Flood Insurance Program require a 30 day wait. 2. Make sure you are insured to the proper limits.Whenisthelasttimeyoulookedatyour coveragelimits?Rememberthisisreplacement cost, not your real estate market value or what you think your building and contents are worth. Will your coverage be enough to rebuild your house, or replace your furnishings, electronics, clothing, etc.? You don’t want any unpleasant surprises after a catastrophe. That is the wrong time to find out that you are under-insured. We have been recommending to our clients to invest in a replacement cost appraisal on their dwelling. Give us a call for suggestions on who to use for this. IF YOU ARE UNDERINSURED YOU MAY BE SUBJECT TO A VERY PAINFUL CO-INSURANCE PENALTY. Quick example: If you should have carried a limit of $200,000 on your home but only carried $150,000, you may have a 25% penalty on any claim payment, even on a partial loss. 3. Make sure you have the policies you need. The obvious policies are Homeowners Insurance (including homeowners for renters); Windstorm/Hail Insurance, if not included in the Homeowners, and Flood Insurance. Don’t overlook flood insurance! While the Homeowners and Windstorm Policies speak for themselves, the peril of Flood should not be ignored. To give you an example of how expensive rising water can be, the FloodSmart.gov website points out that just 6 inches of flood water in a home could do more than $20,000 in damage – that’s just to the structure, that doesn’t include contents! This may seem like a lot to do, but talk to your agent, who can counsel you and give personal guidance on how to complete these “Top 3” must-do items. As we always say here each month, doing these things will give you that all-important peace of mind. Next Month: Flood Insurance- Why Should I have it? The Harvey L. Brown Agency are experts in auto, home, business, life/health and represent over 40 companies. If you have questions or concerns about your insurance, call 561-276-0369 Monday-Friday 9-5pm.