TALLAHASSEE, FL, June 6, 2016 — The 2016 hurricane season started less than a week ago but a third storm has already been named. The first two storms, Hurricane Alex in mid-January and Tropical Storm Bonnie in late May, came early. With rainfall from Tropical Storm Colin already drenching most areas throughout Florida and flooding expected, the Insurance Information Institute notes that this is what normal now looks like.
“Just as all eyes are on real-time forecasts from the National Hurricane Center, your attention should also be directed toward making sure you have the right amount and right type of insurance coverage, said Lynne McChristian, the I.I.I.’s Florida representative.
Wind damage from both tropical storms and hurricanes is covered under standard homeowners, renters and business insurance policies. But the wind associated with hurricanes is not the only concern; tropical storm systems can also bring heavy rainfall.
Most standard homeowners policies do not cover flood damage, and this includes damage due to storm surge. A separate flood insurance policy is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and some private flood insurance companies.
“Too many people dismiss their flood risk because they have never experienced a flood in their neighborhood before,” McChristian said. “But there is so much development going on in Florida that water from heavy rains has to find new pathways, which can bring the flood to your doorstep—or worse, into your house.”
Flood insurance policies typically have a 30-day waiting period before they go into effect.
“Nothing sells flood insurance better than a flood,” said McChristian. So, the rain associated with Tropical Storm Colin should prove motivational. Review your insurance policy and have a conversation with your insurance professional to be sure you have sufficient coverage to rebuild your home and replace damaged personal property.
Damage to cars from either tropical storms or hurricanes is covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy. This includes wind damage, flooding and even falling objects such as tree limbs.
The I.I.I. suggests homeowners run through its Hurricane Season Checklist now.
Consumer Basics: About Homeowners and Renters Insurance
Facts and Statistics: Florida Hurricane & Insurance Fact File
Video: Making Your Home More Hurricane-Resistant: Five Steps
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Insurance Information Institute (813) 480-6446