June 1 was the start of hurricane season. You’ve probably purchased your batteries and flashlights. You may even have a hurricane kit already set up and waiting. The moment a storm is named and headed your way, you know to fill up on gas, stock up on shelf stable foods, and hunker down to wait it out. You’re as prepared as you can be.
Or are you?
As a responsible homeowner, you already have homeowners insurance, so you should be fine. Right? Hurricanes bring a lot of wind and rain, which your home insurance will cover. They also bring flooding and water damage; which is not covered through your regular insurance policy.
YOU’RE GOING TO NEED FLOOD INSURANCE TO TRULY BE PREPARED FOR HURRICANE SEASON.
Your homeowners insurance policy should cover any damage caused by hurricane winds. If you look at your policy documents, you’ll even see a separate deductible for hurricane claims. But if you think that’s enough, think again.
For those in North Carolina’s high-risk areas, you can purchase a standard North Carolina flood insurance policy that is backed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Your rates will vary based on where exactly you live, as well as how your home is constructed and its elevation. Your agent can show you current flood zone maps to give you an idea of your risk of flooding.
The standard flood insurance policy has two parts. You’ll need a policy for your home, which offers maximum coverage of $250,000, and a policy for the contents of your home, which offers a maximum coverage of $100,000.
Don’t wait for a storm warning to purchase your policy. Flood insurance policies take 30 days to go into effect.
For homes in low risk areas, you can choose a low-cost preferred risk policy. It will protect your home and the contents in the event that a small flood affects you, or if a larger flood manages to make it’s way to your area. Because there’s no way to know if a storm will break levees, burst dams, or cause flooding in other ways, a preferred risk policy is a good idea even if you don’t think you have anything to worry about.
FLOOD INSURANCE DOESN’T COVER EVERYTHING.
For those with standard flood insurance policies, there are specific circumstances when you will be covered. For other instances, your homeowners policy will be used. Flood insurance doesn’t cover everything.
- Water must enter your home from outside.
- Pools aren’t covered.
- Floods that affect only you, unless the affected area is two or more acres, will not be covered.
- Living and business expenses, cash, and important documents aren’t covered. Your flood insurance will not cover the cost to replace these items.
Talk with your agent when you purchase your policy so that you know exactly what’s covered and what isn’t.
A few quiet hurricane seasons make it easy to believe that every season will be storm-free. Every hurricane season is unique and even the smallest storms can have a devastating impact.
Make sure that you’re truly ready for the summer storm season ahead of time. Contact us today for more information, or for a free quote.