The arrival of hurricane season is a good time for everyone to review their insurance policies in order to avoid a shock after the big winds blow. Having a conversation with your agent is a good place to start your review.
Damage to your vehicle from hurricanes winds, falling trees or limbs, or flooding is covered by the comprehensive coverage on the vehicle. Note what your deductible is – probably $250 or $500.
Be sure to know the deductibles on your homeowners policy, remembering that many insurance companies use a percentage deductible for wind claims. The percent is usually a percent of the amount of coverage on the dwelling. For example, if your home is insured for $300,000 and your policy has a 2 % wind/hail deductible, the actual deductible is $6,000.
Notice the exact wording of the wind/hail deductible. Some companies use the wind/hail deductible, some use a tropical storm or named storm deductible, and others use a hurricane deductible. Reading the form attached to your policy will help you understand when the deductible will apply.
Be sure you have a record of the household inventory in your home. After a loss, you must tell the insurance company what items were damaged or lost. Could you remember? Taking pictures is a great way to maintain an inventory record.
Flooding, including the surge associated with a hurricane, is not covered by your homeowners, mobile home, or renter’s policy. You must have a flood insurance policy. There is a 30 day waiting period before flood insurance becomes effective (and this includes increasing the limits of a current policy).
If you need to buy wind insurance through the South Carolina Wind & Hail Underwriting Association or want to increase your present limits, a 15 day waiting period applies. Do not wait until the last minute!!
As a hurricane gets closer to our area, insurance companies will no longer allow policies to be issued. Plan ahead for your insurance needs.
Other good information is found at the South Carolina Emergency Management Division website www.scemd.org.