Hurricane insurance is a little tricky. Most homeowners’ policies cover damage caused by windstorms, hurricanes and hail, but insurance companies may exclude this coverage in some areas. Standard homeowners’ policies protect you from virtually all types of damage a hurricane can inflict, except for flood or rising water damage. Even so, many homeowner policies have special deductibles for hurricane damage that are separate from the general deductible for other damages. While the general deductible is likely set at a dollar amount, the deductible for hurricane damage is often set as a percent of the hurricane costs. It's usually around 3 percent, although it can run as high as 5 percent of the damage costs.
Any hurricane damage from water, not wind and rain, is covered by flood insurance, which must be purchased separately through the federally run National Flood Insurance Program. If your property is included in a flood zone, your mortgage company will more than likely require you to purchase flood insurance. Some time in the next year, the flood zone map will be changing for Sumter County. Please visit the GIS website to find out if your property will be affected.
If your home is in a flood zone, as designated by the federal government, be sure to ask your agent whether you should buy additional coverage. You do not, however, have to live in a flood zone to purchase flood insurance.
Comprehensive auto coverage should protect your car from any damage caused by a hurricane, including flood damage. Ask your agent to make sure you are adequately covered. Raising the deductible may save you money.
| To help speed up payment of an insurance claim, videotape or photograph and record serial numbers of all your belongings before a hurricane. Business owners should do the same with equipment in the workplace.