Some Delaware residents are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy's lashing in October 2012. Sandy struck with isolated hurricane force gusts, widespread gales and heavy rain, and caused significant coastal area flooding. Only the catastrophic coverage of a hurricane insurance policy helps property owners recover quickly from such events. Before you search for quotes on hurricane insurance, however, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Since the fallout from Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, more and more people are realizing that federal disaster aid is not sufficient protection against these epic storms. Government assistance programs, such as the following, are distinctly different from insurance coverage and may or may not provide the assistance you need to recover from a hurricane:
Hurricane coverage that you buy for your DE home and personal belongings can provide immediate benefits after a natural disaster, as soon as an insurance adjuster can get to you.
Hurricane coverage in Delaware is available and could be worth purchasing for your home and property, as they are at risk for these tropical storms.
More than half of the most damaging hurricanes to hit the United States have occurred since 1990, and climatologists predict more of these severe weather events for the future. Even if your Delaware home is hundreds of miles from the coast, you may experience the damaging effects of a hurricane that hits landfall.
High winds are the primary cause of hurricane-inflicted property damage. Hurricane-force winds can uproot trees, overturn vehicles, shatter windows and even level buildings. Heavy rains can also damage roofs and allow water to leak into homes, prompting many homeowners to wonder whether their homeowners policy covers water damage from storms and other causes.
Be sure you fully understand your homeowners insurance, including your limits and the exclusions in your policy. Because no two home insurance policies are alike, make sure you know what your policy covers and whether you may need to add coverage or increase limits to prepare for the risks inherent to Delaware.
Hurricane insurance coverage is a bit tricky. Most homeowners insurance should cover any damage caused by hurricane winds. Even so, many homeowners policies have special deductibles for hurricane damage that are separate from the general deductible for other damage. 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 damage costs. It's usually around 3 percent, although it can run as high as 5 percent of the damage costs.
As many Delaware residents discovered in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, homeowners insurance does not usually cover property destroyed by cresting rivers.
Hurricane insurance coverage only pertains to water damage caused by rains. Any hurricane damage from rising water, not wind and rain, is covered by flood insurance, which must be purchased separately through the federally run National Flood Insurance Program.
It is important to know that, while you can apply for flood insurance with the NFIP anytime, there is a 30-day waiting period before you can use the coverage. It's important to find this coverage before the next hurricane season.
The cost of catastrophic insurance that includes hurricane coverage varies, as there are a number of factors that impact quotes. Most Delaware insurance companies take several things into account when calculating your hurricane coverage quotes.
One variable that can significantly influence your premium quotes is the deductible you choose. Be sure to choose a deductible that you can comfortably afford should you need to file a claim for hurricane damage.
Your insurance quotes also depend upon whether you are buying actual cash value coverage, which takes depreciation into account, or replacement cost coverage, which will cover complete rebuilding if needed. Actual cash value is generally less expensive coverage than replacement cost but typically does not provide the funds to rebuild your home in the event of complete destruction.
Severe weather events that affect Delaware have increased in number and extremity over the years. Navigating the sketchy waters of catastrophic insurance that includes hurricane coverage is complex. That's why it is vital to work with an experienced insurance agent. Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents in the Trusted Choice® network are always available to help answer any questions you have on your homeowners insurance policy, suggest coverage options and even help you file a claim.
Contact a Trusted Choice agent to find out how you can be better protected against the next hurricane.