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Get ready for hurricane season by insuring home

On June 1, Florida's hurricane season officially starts. However, some homeowners may be unaware that they need to purchase flood insurance earlier than that date to ensure their property is covered.

According to insurance experts, it takes 30 days for a National Flood Insurance policy to take effect. That means that, unless their private property insurance specifically covers it, homeowners will be responsible for any flood damage that occurs for a full month after they purchase their national policy. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, most private insurers do not cover flooding. As for FEMA itself, the agency only helps homeowners repair their primary residence to the point of being 'safe, sanitary and functional." All extras must be paid for by homeowners or their insurance.

This is where flood insurance comes in. A National Flood Insurance policy provides up to $350,000 of coverage to replace a home and its contents. The policy, which costs an average of $700 per year, can be used even if the damage occurs in an event that is not classified as a federal disaster. Homeowners should also note that NFIP policies cannot be canceled due to repeat claims and have no payback requirement. Owners of single-family residences can insure their home for up to $250,000 and its contents for up to $100,000. Owners of non-residential properties can insure their building for up to $500,000 and its contents for up to $500,000. Meanwhile, renters can insure the contents of their residence for up to $100,000.

Homeowners and renters who experience difficulty with their hurricane damage claims may wish to speak with an attorney about their case. An attorney might review the claim and work to obtain a fair settlement.

Source: WJCT, "Flood Insurance Takes 30 Days To Kick In, But Hurricane Season Starts Sooner Than That," May 7, 2018

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