Florida residents know that this time of the year can bring one of the most brutal forces of nature – hurricanes. We take weeks, or even months, to prepare our homes and ourselves to withstand these storms and, yet, there’s still only so much we can do to fight mother nature.
That being said, from a legal standpoint, there are a number of steps you should take to protect yourself and your assets from devastating hurricane loss. Below, we’re sharing some insight on how you can ensure you’re prepared for whatever this season may bring.
Months Before a Potential Hurricane
Get Insurance. Many insurance agencies will not allow you to buy flood and/or hurricane insurance during the prime of hurricane season. That being said, some people buy flood insurance only before hurricane season starts and miss out on substantial amounts of coverage. Depending on location, hurricane insurance can be fairly inexpensive!
Understand Your Policies. After purchasing insurance for your property, be sure you’re familiar with the specifications of your policy. Flood insurance, homeowners insurance, and hurricane insurance, all cover different assets and cover different scenarios/property in certain ways. Be sure the coverage you’re paying for each month is sufficient enough to cover damages if the worst case scenario were to occur.
Don’t Miss Payments! If a payment is missed for any insurance policy, the policy will lapse. During lapse periods, the insurance company can deny claims and have merit for doing so. The easiest way to avoid this is simply pay your premiums on time.
Days Before a Hurricane
Capture Images/Video of Your Property and Assets. Nearly everyone today has the ability to get photo or video proof of their property, right in their pocket. This gives each individual the opportunity to document their assets and condition of their property prior to potential catastrophic damage. Given that many of us don’t have receipts for every item we own, this is the best alternative.
Utilize Safes and Higher Ground Storage to Avoid Flood Damage. In some flood insurance policies, agencies will not reimburse funds for property left “unprotected” on lower ground. On the contrary, the attic isn’t the best option either as they’re typically the first to get leaks with any damage to the roof of a home. That being said, to the best of your ability, put property into waterproof safes, put electronics and high valuable items on high shelves, and be mindful of preventive measures you can take to reduce the risk of property damage.
Know Where To Find Your Insurance Information. This comes into play if the home is a total loss. You’ll want to know your insurance company’s name, a way to contact that company, and your agent’s name. If there were multiple homes/properties damaged during the storm, you’ll want to contact your agency sooner than later as it’s typically handled in a queue system on the insurance side.
Contact Our Lawyers in Jacksonville
If you have questions as we continue through hurricane season about insurance or property preparation, contact our lawyers in Jacksonville to discuss steps you could take prior to a hurricane potentially damaging your property. Check out our website anytime for more information.