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Many Florida homeowners are underinsured

According to industry experts, approximately 80 percent of U.S. homes are underinsured. That percentage is likely higher in Florida due to the area's hurricane risk.

A representative from Arden Insurance in Lantana says that Florida homeowners frequently buy insurance policies that don't cover the true value of their property. They also often purchase the wrong types of policies and fail to ensure their policy covers their home in the event of a catastrophe, such as hurricane-related flooding. Unfortunately, these problems usually don't come to light until a homeowner tries to rebuild a destroyed property and finds he or she has inadequate insurance coverage.

To address the issue, insurance experts advise homeowners to adjust their coverage each year to keep up with inflation, rising property values and the changing costs of construction materials. For example, the cost of roofing materials is particularly high right now. They also recommend buying separate policies for flood coverage and windstorm coverage, which provide more protection than general home insurance policies.

Unfortunately, many Florida insurance companies attempt to deny or undervalue home insurance claims. This can be particularly true after a major hurricane or another type of natural disaster. Homeowners having difficulty collecting hurricane damage claims may benefit by discussing their case with an attorney. An attorney could carefully review the policy to determine how much an insurance company is legally required to pay. An attorney could also gather home inspection reports, audits and other types of evidence that prove the value and condition of the home before it was damaged. Legal counsel could then work to obtain the full amount owed to the homeowner.

Source: CBS 12, "With peak hurricane season near, experts say vast majority of homes are under-insured", Chuck Weber, July 27, 2018

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