The Sunshine State brings more than it's fair share of hail storms along with the likelihood of experiencing a named hurricane. Did you know that over 40% of all hurricanes that occur in the United States hit Florida. That is why it is important to check your insurance policy, as once a storm receives a name, it is too late to obtain coverage.
A quick note, standard storm damage policies cover wind damage from "Acts of God", such as from a hurricane, wind storm, hail storm or tornado but do NOT cover flood damage. A special flood insurance policy can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Q. If I file a major claim against my insurance company won't my insurance premium go higher or don't I run a risk of them cancelling my insurance policy or refusing to renew?
A. Any claim made in response to a natural disaster, or an "Act of God", legally CANNOT result in any increase in premium, non-renewal or cancellation of your policy.
If the wrath of a hurricane hits your neighborhood, and many roofs are destroyed, then the insurance company may raise premium rates, based on the area being deemed as high risk. This may happen, regardless of whether YOU file a claim or not.
So the bottomline is, you have been paying premiums to protect your investment against an unforseen event, such as from a hurricane or hail storm,
So Why Not Use It!
What To Do:
- Call or visit your insurance agent prior to a storm to discuss your policy.
- Have your insurance agent's contact information and your policy in a safe and easily accessible place.
- Take inventory of your household items, especially valuables.
- Photograph and/or videotape items for verification and keep in a safe place such as a safety deposit box
- Read your insurance policy and know what YOUR responsibilities are.
- Know what is and isn't covered, and know your general/specific policy limits and deductibles.
Hail activity can cause potential damage, reducing the life expectancy of your roof by causing your roof or shingles to age faster.
If you think that your roof can only be damaged by large hail stones, you would be wrong, even the smallest hail stones have the potential to cause considerable hail damage to your roof and property.
If you have experienced a hail storm then it is wise to have your roof inspected by a trained professional as hail damage may not be noticeable to the untrained eye.
What To Do:
- Notify your insurance agent of the damage as soon as possible.
- Call a professional contractor to mitigate further damage to your home.
- Save receipts of what you spend and submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement.
- Don't throw away any damaged items until an adjuster visits your home.
- Photograph and/or videotape the damage for your records and the insurance company.
- Make a copy of your home inventory for your adjuster.