Recently, Hurricane Irma left a path of destruction throughout much of Florida, including St. Petersburg. Heavy winds and rain and widespread flooding resulted in about $50 billion in damage throughout the state. Fortunately, many Florida residents were protected by hurricane insurance. Do you have the coverage you need if disaster strikes?
A local independent insurance agent can help you review your home, auto, and other insurance policies to help you be sure that you have sufficient hurricane coverage. Contact an insurance agent with an office in or near St. Petersburg to get started.
What Is Hurricane Insurance?
Hurricane insurance is something that you can get as part of your current insurance policies. It's sometimes included as a standard part of your coverage, and at other times, it's something you have to purchase as a separate endorsement or rider. Because hurricane damage is so costly in Florida, home insurance rates in this state are among the highest in the country.
Some homeowners insurance companies have begun excluding hurricane damage from their standard coverage to keep costs low. This is a good example of a time when the lowest-price policy isn’t necessarily the best choice. An independent insurance agent in St. Petersburg can help you review any policies you currently carry to help you be sure that they include a suitable amount of hurricane coverage.
Hurricane Insurance for Your St. Petersburg Home
There are a number of different home policies that can provide coverage against hurricane damage. Whether you own or rent your home, there's a policy that's right for you.
- Homeowners insurance: Homeowners insurance that includes hurricane coverage can pay to repair damage to both the structure of your home and the property inside it if it is damaged by hazards such as heavy rains, strong winds, falling trees, or flying debris. This insurance can also cover temporary housing costs if your home is rendered unlivable.
- Renters insurance: As a renter, you don't need to worry about paying for repairs to the structure of your home. You are, however, on the hook for damage to your own personal property, and this can be covered by an affordable renters insurance policy. Also, if your home is left uninhabitable due to a hurricane, renters insurance can also cover temporary housing costs until your landlord gets the building back up to code.
- Condo insurance: If you live in a condo or townhouse, your condo association will have a master policy that covers damage to the structure of your building and common areas. However, you are responsible for covering everything inside your unit. A comprehensive condo insurance policy will provide coverage against hurricane damage to interior walls, floors, and ceilings as well as to your personal belongings.
Regardless of what type of policy you carry, it is important to be aware that it will not cover you against floods. While damage from heavy rains is covered, damage from rising waters is not. It 's therefore important for St. Petersburg residents to supplement their home coverage with a flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Your local insurance agent can help.
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Hurricane Insurance Covers Your Vehicle in St. Petersburg, FL
What if hurricane-force winds uproot a tree and it falls onto your brand new car? Or what if the truck you rely on to get to work is washed away in floodwaters? Vehicles aren’t cheap, so it's important that they are properly covered against the damaging effects of a hurricane. Regardless of how these storms may damage or destroy your vehicle, you can only be compensated if your car insurance policy includes comprehensive insurance. Although this “other than collision” coverage isn't mandatory by law, it's typically required by lenders if you are still paying for your vehicle and by dealerships if it is being leased.
Also, you cannot be compensated more than your vehicle is worth, so if your car has depreciated in value enough so that you currently owe more on your car loan than its Blue Book value, you might also want to consider gap insurance. This can cover the difference in the event that a hurricane or other hazard results in a total loss. Talk to your local insurance agent to learn more.
Hurricane Insurance for Your St. Petersburg Business
If you own a business in St. Petersburg, you will want to be sure that your company is properly insured against hurricane damage. A well-designed business insurance policy can provide your company with the following coverage:
- Commercial property insurance: This can cover your business assets, including inventory, merchandise, furniture, computers, tools, and equipment. It can also cover damage to the structure of the building in which your business is housed if it's company-owned.
- Business interruption insurance: If hurricane damage results in long-lasting power outages, road closures, or severe damage to your business, it may need to remain closed for weeks, or even months, depending on the severity of the damage. This insurance is designed to provide your business with a continuation of income until you are able to resume normal business operations.
An independent agent can help you review your business insurance policy to ensure that it provides sufficient coverage against hurricane damage.
Why Work with an Independent Agent in St. Petersburg?
Going over the coverage in your insurance policies every few years can help you be sure that your policies have kept up with changes in your life and financial situation. When you are reviewing your coverage to see if you have sufficient hurricane insurance, you can benefit from the help of an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents are happy to answer your insurance-related questions and help you find the best and most affordable policies for all of your coverage needs.
Find an insurance agent in St. Petersburg to learn more about hurricane insurance.