One of our faults as human beings is believing that we have complete dominion over our environment. We’re angry when it rains and frustrated when a lightning storm drives us inside, but that’s just nature—it can’t be helped. The only thing we can do is make preparations for strong weather conditions, and one way of doing that is by getting homeowners insurance. For affordable homeowners insurance, visit CoverHound for your free homeowners insurance quotes.
Homeowners Insurance and Natural Disaster Coverage
According to the Insurance Information Institute, (III) from 1995 to 2014, tropical storms and hurricanes caused $161.2 billion in insured losses in the United States. If you remember, some major storms to hit the country in 2014 were Hurricane Arthur, Hurricane Iselle and Hurricane Marie, just to name a few. The Weather Channel has learned that 75% of hurricane related fatalities in the US are the direct result of storm surge and flooding.
Flying debris, high water levels and electrical malfunctions all put our lives at risk during a severe thunderstorm. Some states are hit by hurricanes and storms much more often than others, and 19 of our 50 states (and the District of Columbia) have made hurricane deductibles mandatory.
What is a Hurricane Deductible?
Let’s first start with the basics and look at what a deductible is. A deductible is the amount of money an insurance policyholder must pay before their insurance company pays the insurance claim.
A hurricane deductible is the amount of money a homeowners insurance policy holder will must pay before their insurance agency will cover the damages caused by a hurricane. As mentioned previously, there are 19 states that require their homeowners to have a hurricane deductible. Those states (listed alphabetically) are as follows:
After Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 (costing insurance companies $41 billion in losses), they decided to rewrite the homeowners insurance plan. Insurance companies decided that instead of selling homeowners insurance with the time-honored dollar deductible, they would sell policies with a percentage deductible for storm damage.
Percentage deductibles are different from dollar deductibles in that percentage deductibles are based on the home’s entire insured value. A dollar deductible is based on other losses, such as caused by burglary, fire or human error accidents.
What does a percentage deductible cover? Let’s say you have insured your home for $500,000, and it has a 5% deductible. The first $25,000 of the claim is to be paid out of pocket by the policyholder. The idea of spending $25,000 out of pocket after your home has been damaged or destroyed by a hurricane probably makes you feel a little sick. Here are some ways to hurricane proof your home to prevent catastrophic damage.
Hold the door: No, this isn’t a reference to Hodor’s history in Game of Thrones. Interior design blog Houzz tells readers that garage doors are one of the weakest spots of the house, getting destroyed by the strong gales of hurricane winds. By installing a garage door with a supportive brace, your door won’t give way.
Block window and doors: Use impact-resistant shutters on the exterior of your home to block windows and entrances. This will keep the wind from ripping through your house and causing a massive water leak.
Keep the yard clean: Make sure your garbage bins and yard clippings are packed securely away during hurricane season and keep up on tree branch maintenance. You won’t want your garbage strewn across the yard or tree branches and bottles pelting the side of your house.
Getting caught in a hurricane is scary, but with the right homeowners insurance coverage, it doesn’t have to be. Click or call today to speak with a CoverHound representative about your homeowners insurance package.