After several large storms have battered the region in three years, the American Automobile Association surveyed 400 Florida residents to measure their concern about this year's hurricane season that generally starts at the beginning of June. An overwhelming 92% of respondents expressed worry about storms in 2019. A full 19% said that they were more worried about storm damage and flooding than last year.
Despite growing concerns, the survey found that almost one-quarter of residents had not taken any steps to prepare for hurricanes. Disaster planning includes making a family evacuation plan, stocking food and water for several weeks, and checking insurance coverage. Homeowners insurance does not pay for flood damage, but 21% of people surveyed did not know that flood insurance was not included in their homeowners policies.
The heavy rain and winds brought by hurricanes often produce widespread flood damage, which contributed greatly to the $200 billion in damages after hurricanes Florence, Michael, Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Although hurricanes are a part of living in Florida, 73% of residents do not have flood insurance. Financial protection for property could speed recovery for people whose properties suffer storm damage. A flood insurance policy, however, typically has a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins, which means that property owners concerned about flooding should act now.
Unfortunately, insurance companies often look for ways to limit or deny payment of hurricane damage claims. Legal advice might help a person confronted by an uncooperative insurer. An attorney could examine the contract and identify the clauses that support the policy holder's claim. Additionally, an attorney might organize evidence about the damage that counteracts an insurance adjuster's opinion.
Source: Insurance Journal, "AAA Survey: Floridians Concerned for Upcoming Hurricane Season", May 29, 2019