If you live in Maine, you have probably had to weather a hurricane or two. Once you've battened down the hatches and stored supplies, there isn't much you can do to protect yourself against a hurricane. But if you have hurricane insurance, you can be sure you'll get reimbursement in case a hurricane strikes. Be sure to save yourself from financial loss before it happens by shopping for quotes and purchasing the right hurricane insurance for your home, business and vehicle. Insurance pays out a specific amount for each covered claim so that you can repair or replace your property and get back to life as usual without any debt hanging over your head.
Maine Hurricane Facts
- Over the past 360 years, a major storm hit ME an average of once every eight years.
- Since 1960, big storms have hit ME more frequently, averaging once every two years.
- ME was hit by 7 of the nation's costliest 25 hurricanes.
- The heaviest hurricane-related rainfall in ME history was 8.05 inches.
On the Eastern Seaboard, the question is when, not if, a hurricane will occur. Most recently, Sandy blew through and caused more than $800,000 in property damage in this state alone. The good news is that with the right Maine hurricane insurance coverage, you don't have to face bankruptcy over the damage and expense a major storm can bring.
Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Hurricanes?
The majority of homeowners policies do not specifically mention hurricane as a covered event. However, most of these policies do cover wind damage, wind-driven rain and damage from flying debris. These are major causes of structural damage from a hurricane or tropical storm.
It's important to know your particular policy well, because in the past decade, many insurers have begun to raise deductibles on damage caused by "named" storms such as Hurricane Irene. This is especially true for homes located near the Maine coastline, where storm damage is likely. Look over the details of your coverage, and if you have questions about your deductibles, ask a local insurance agent for clarification.
Homeowners insurance does not cover flood caused by hurricane-related storm surge, river run-off or excess rain. To insure against flood damage, you need a flood policy from the National Flood Insurance Program. Hundreds of private insurers work with the NFIP to provide this coverage to participating communities. If you live in a flood plain, or special flood risk area, this coverage is mandatory. However, more than 30 percent of flood insurance claims come from low- to medium-risk zones. Coverage in these low risk areas is very affordable and can help you rebuild after a disaster, debt-free.
What If You Rent Your Home?
Your landlord is responsible for insuring the structure of the apartment, condo or house that you rent. Landlord insurance covers any broken windows, roof damage and ruined flooring. But the items you keep in the home are your financial responsibility. Most renters keep around $20,000 in personal property in the home. If rain and wind destroy your walls and scatter your belongings, you must pay to replace or repair your damaged property.
Renters insurance can cover damage from wind, debris, falling trees and rain. It can insure your clothing, electronics, furniture and more. However, like homeowners insurance, a renters policy does not cover flooding. You can purchase inexpensive flood coverage for your personal property through the NFIP.
Do You Have Your Vehicle Protected Against Storms?
If you only purchase the liability insurance required by the state of Maine, your car or truck will not be ready for a major storm. You are responsible for repairing any dents from flying debris, falling branches or hail, as well as flood damage or loss. To cover your vehicle against these risks, you need comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive, or "other than collision," covers a wide variety of risks, including theft, vandalism and weather damage.
Does Your ME Business Need Hurricane Insurance?
A standard business policy covers the structures on your property against wind and rain damage. But like homeowners insurance, your policy may include higher deductibles for damage from "named" storms, particularly if you live less than a mile inland.
Homeowners insurance does not cover natural, storm-related flooding. To protect your buildings, merchandise and equipment from flood damage, you need a commercial flood insurance policy from the NFIP. Many insurance companies carry this product, and your agent can help you add this protection to your current coverage.
If you do not already have business interruption coverage, it may be wise to look into it before the next big squall. Business interruption insurance can pay your employees and make up for lost income while you close your doors for storm-related repairs. Many small businesses that close after a storm never reopen. The right coverage can keep you moving forward.
Be Hurricane Ready
Hurricane insurance might be tricky to find, especially if you feel the coverage on your home, auto, or business insurance isn't adequate or would leave you with too high of a deductible to pay out of pocket. When you're looking for coverage you can afford, it's a good idea to research your options with a professional. An independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network in Maine makes it easy to get the storm coverage you need for your home, car and business. These agents work with many different insurance companies, so they can shop quotes and policy options until they find the best possible coverage blend for your unique needs.
Contact a local agent to get hurricane insurance customized to your Maine lifestyle.