Owning a coastal home in New England is a dream come true for many homeowners. With that dream comes the reality of hurricanes, floods, storms, and other coastal hazards, which put your home at risk for flood, water, and severe wind damage. To help protect your home (and your assets), you want to make sure you have appropriate homeowners insurance coverage that is specialized for coastal areas. That’s why Cushman Insurance has created this guide to homeowners insurance in coastal areas!
What is coastal insurance?
Standard homeowners insurance is generally comprehensive enough to help cover most of the incidents a regular home might face, like fire, theft, broken tree branches falling into the house, etc. However, coastal homes near the water have more specific needs that standard homeowners insurance may not provide.
How does this additional coverage differ from my home insurance policy?
Coastal homes have greater exposures, which is why they often require additional coverage beyond what comes with a standard home insurance policy. Specifically, insurance policies for coastal homes can include separate wind deductibles, named-storm deductibles, and hurricane deductibles.
How are my wind, hurricane, or named-storm deductibles set?
In general, these deductibles can be either a flat fee or between 1-5% of the value of your home. This number is dependent on your location and the insurance carrier. For example, a home in Brockton may have a 2% deductible while a home somewhere on the Cape could have a 5% deductible.
Do I need flood insurance in addition to coastal coverages on my home insurance policy? Homeowners should note that flood damage is excluded from any home insurance policy, even if you have coastal coverages like wind or named-storm deductible. Meaning, if your home sustains damages from a flood, your home insurance policy will not cover the repairs. While we recommend flood insurance to clients who are close to the water, homeowners who live in designated flood zones are required to purchase flood insurance to maintain their mortgages. Tips for Homeowners’ Insurance in Coastal Areas
Get insured before hurricane season — most homeowners and flood policies take at least 30 days to activate. Plus, insurance providers won’t offer new insurance policies if there is an active storm watch.
Pick the right deductibles — Coastal homeowners insurance will typically have multiple deductibles for different areas of your policy, like separate deductibles for wind, named storms, and hurricanes.
Know your coverage — If you have a coastal home, your policy probably looks different than a standard homeowners policy. You’ll want to take a look at your plan to see exactly what kind of coverage you have, your deductibles, and where there may be gaps in your coverage (like flood).
Purchase flood insurance — For coastal homes, flood insurance is a must. If you own a beach home for 30 years, your chance of experiencing a flood at some point is almost 100%.
Consider other insurance needs — Coastal homes aren’t all storms and floods. You use your home to enjoy the beach. You may even rent it out as a vacation home so others can enjoy it too! Make sure to help protect the “fun” parts of your coastal home as well.
Cushman Insurance understands the ins and outs of coastal home insurance and can walk you through the different deductibles and pricing. Because Cushman Insurance has a relationship with multiple top carriers who specialize in coastal insurance, we can help you find the best price with the optimal coverage for your home. Contact Cushman Insurance today to learn more.