Most homeowners in Florida are aware of the potential for hailstorm damage, especially during the summer months when storms that can produce frozen rain are more likely to occur. But something odd happened in 2008: That year, nationwide hail-related losses passed the $19 billion mark in inflation-adjusted dollars. This figure was a big jump from previous figures of $8 billion to $12 billion. However, this spike wasn't a one-time anomaly.
Most Florida homeowners would carry homeowners insurance even if it was not mandated by the terms of the mortgage loan on the property. After all, the family home is typically the single most valuable asset owned, and repairs for any damage to the home or liability for any incidents on the premises can be extremely costly. Among the types of losses that may occur, damage done by water poses a risk that can be very expensive to recover from. However, to the chagrin and surprise of some homeowners who proceed to file a claim, not all water damage is covered under the standard homeowner's policy.
Florida homeowners have been dropped in large numbers by local insurance companies as many fear that premium rates will jump up in the year to come. Insurers shed around 87,000 policies in 2018, leaving many homeowners looking for new insurance to cover the gaps. These policy changes come after Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Irma led to $15 billion in property damage claims from insurance companies, according to the Office of Insurance Regulation in the state.
The delay in receiving insurance proceeds for a property damage claim can be an extremely frustrating experience. The homeowner wants repairs made, and the insurance company wants to make sure it is paying the correct party. As people in Florida have found out, a finance company or bank holding a security interest can hold up payment.
When a hurricane strikes in Florida or any other state, it could cause major property damage. To be reimbursed for a portion or all of the cost of the damage, it may be necessary to file an insurance claim. Prior to a hurricane making landfall, residents in its path can take steps to be ready to show that the storm caused the damage in question. One step is taking pictures of the home and the contents within it.
Homeowners insurance can help those who have been impacted by a natural disaster make up for some financial losses. However, Florida residents may not necessarily be covered for all disasters, even if they have a homeowners insurance policy. A Consumer Reports survey found that 45 percent of those in the path of Hurricane Irma experienced property damage. If a home cannot be lived in after a storm, a homeowners policy will generally cover living expenses such as paying for a motel.
Hurricanes can cause cost cities and states billions of dollars, and homeowners can lose their entire real estate investment. With these storms expected to get stronger as time goes on, it's become more important than ever to get insurance coverage. While regular property insurance will usually cover the damage that comes from hurricane winds, flooding is considered a separate issue. Homes in Florida, as seen with Hurricane Irma, are particularly vulnerable to rising waters from storm surges.
Homeowners in Florida should be sure to check their insurance policies ahead of the hurricane season. In most cases, flood insurance policies don't take effect for 30 days after they are purchased. Homeowners and renters insurance policies generally don't cover damage done by floods on their own. Those who have hurricane or flood insurance policies should make sure that they can afford the deductibles that are often higher than other forms of coverage.
Whether it is because of hurricanes or other issues, many Floridians are forced to submit claims to their insurance companies every year. Unfortunately, some insurance companies try to avoid paying valid claims that are presented to them.