Insure your home for hurricanes without overspending
Hurricane season is here and before the storms ramp up it is a good idea to make sure your insurance will cover damage to your home.
According to Florida Weekly, the biggest threat a hurricane poses to your home is flooding. Flood insurance is required in order to get a mortgage in high-risk areas, but for those who don't live in such places, flood insurance is still important. The National Flood Insurance program says that nearly 20 percent of flood insurance claims occur in low-to-moderate risk zones. A primary risk zone carries with it a one in four chance of getting hit by a hurricane during a 30-year mortgage. Secondary zones have a lower risk, though the right storm could hit each on its path. If your neighborhood qualifies, the National Flood Insurance Program will often offer the least expensive option, reports Demand Media. If your home was in a low-risk zone, but got moved to a high-risk zone during remapping, you may be able to take advantage of a "grandfather clause" which allows you to continue paying low-risk rates.
"I think the conversation should center on, how safe is my house from a storm?" said Ted Todd, who runs an Allstate Agency. "Where are my weaknesses? Are there some affordable things I could do to make myself safe from a storm and consequently that could save money?"
One way to make sure your home is safe from wind is by purchasing a wind mitigation report. Walk with the inspector around your home and make sure the inspection is thorough, checking for each and every flaw that could worsen potential damage in case of a hurricane. Small fixes like bracing your garage door will help lower wind insurance rates substantially. Following a short examination of your home with the inspector, the reduction will come in the form of a check within a few weeks from your insurance company, according to WindFlorida.com.
In addition to wind insurance and flood insurance, make sure to take into account property insurance. There is Replacement Cost property insurance, as well as Actual Cash Value. While Replacement Cost is more expensive, it will replace everything damaged at full price, regardless of age and condition - something the cheaper option - Actual Cash Value - does take into account, thus the potential for a smaller reimbursement.