Hurricane season is roughly June 1 through November 30 every year. Most people don’t think of the consequences of a hurricane or named storm until disaster strikes. Feelings of stress and panic set in when your home or business have been destroyed or damaged. However, if you had an insurance policy in place, there is some reassurance that you can begin rebuilding your property soon. Don’t wait until it’s too late to check the coverage of your policies.
Forbes reported that the damages from hurricane Harvey were estimated to be between $25 and $37 billion. Officials are still collecting evidence and preparing estimates of the damages from the most recent storm, Hurricane Ida which was devastating to southeastern Louisiana and its destruction spanned the entire east coast—causing monumental flooding all the way in Pennsylvania and New York. These perils were not predictable, and you want to make sure your property is protected when disaster strikes. Our attorneys at Cueria Law Firm can assess your policies and reassure you that your property is sufficiently covered.
While it is true that your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover some damages from hurricanes and storms and sometimes an additional policy is necessary to provide full coverage for damages that frequently occur during hurricane season. Your standard homeowners insurance covers the actual structure of your home. However, most standard homeowners policies do not cover wind and flood damage unless specifically elected. Some even exclude flood coverage entirely. There is no specific “Hurricane Insurance Policy,” but there is the option of purchasing numerous insurance policies to assure that your property is sufficiently covered. Many Louisianians are hurricane professionals, but are unaware of the full extent of their own policy limits or do not have hurricane coverage whatsoever.
First, you can supplement your homeowners insurance policy with wind or flood insurance. In Louisiana, there are some insurance companies that require you to purchase a separate windstorm insurance policy solely to cover damages from wind. Additionally, flood damage can be extremely expensive. Thus, you may need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy as well. This will cover damages to your home and its contents for external flooding. Homeowners in some areas that are high-risk for flooding will be required to purchase these separate policies.
Important to note is that hurricane insurance coverage does have a special deductible. The hurricane deductible is usually between 2% and 5% of what your home is insured for. (You can read more about this deductible in our other blog post “Louisiana Homeowner Insurance Annual Deductibles for Hurricane, Storms, Wind, & Hail”.
Being a part of a coastal community, you do assume a variety of risks during hurricane season. Even inland communities can find themselves dealing with damages from wind, rain, and flooding. Imagine you evacuate for a storm and you did not assure that your home and belongings were adequately protected. It brings on an assortment of problems—problems you don’t want to be dealing with especially if you are having to deal with the trauma of your beloved home and belongings being destroyed.
The average cost of homeowners insurance has been reported to be “about $964 per year while the average cost of flood insurance is $672 per year, meaning on average our sample homeowners would pay $1,646 to protect their home from a hurricane.” Ultimately, how much you pay will be dependent upon the area your home is located in, the value of your home, and a number of other factors (i.e. flood insurance prices will depend on how close you are to any bodies of water). After seeing the immense destruction Hurricane Ida has brought, along with other severe storms in the past, a few thousand a year seems like a small price to pay for the peace of mind that your home and belongings are covered following a distressing hurricane or storm. You may need separate flood coverage as well. It has been reported that in 2018 the average premium for flood coverage was $642 and the average amount of flood coverage was $257,000. Hurricane Katrina had 167,000 paid losses, at an average of $97,500 per loss and as of March 2019, 76,000 losses were paid from Hurricane Harvey and the average paid loss was $116,800.
Don’t procrastinate or wait until the last minute to assess your insurance policies. Homeowners should determine their insurance coverage or the necessity of purchasing insurance long before storms make their landfall. Most insurance companies will not even issue policies if a storm is on its way. You can shop around for hurricane insurance quotes or see if any of your current insurers can add wind or flood coverage to your current policy.
Similar to homeowners insurance policies, most renter’s insurance policies do not provide coverage when your home or belongings are damaged in a hurricane/storm or from wind and flooding. There are some renter’s policies that will pay for mild wind damage, but these damages are typically excluded if you live in an area that is prone to wind damage. You should contact your insurance company to see what coverage may be provided to you as a renter. If you do not have a policy for hurricane insurance, you should consider your surroundings to evaluate the necessity of purchasing flood or wind insurance for your belongings and keep in mind that your landlord’s insurance only covers the home’s structure itself.
Oftentimes, insurance companies are in the business of making money and will try to provide as little compensation as possible under your policy. After storms, having a claim for your hurricane damage be denied can be devastating, with many people making necessary repairs and being displaced from their homes. The attorneys at Cueria Law have experience with insurance companies acting in bad faith and know exactly what is required to get you the compensation you are entitled to.
Call our office today for a free consultation. Our attorneys understand how trying times can be following a hurricane and severe property damage. We can, at a minimum, make you aware of the full extent of your rights under your policy and begin the process of making a claim for natural disaster property damage compensation.
Our attorneys have helped hundreds of disaster victims get the fair compensation they deserve so they can get back to their lives and their families. Call Cueria Law Firm at (504)-525-5211 today!