The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has reported that the 2020 hurricane season will be an extremely active season. They predict there will be 6 to 10 potential hurricanes and 3 to 6 potential major hurricanes this year. As New Englanders, we are no stranger to inclement weather — but your friends at Cushman Insurance want to be sure you and your family are prepared if a storm were to hit our community in Southeastern Massachusetts. To help protect your home and your loved ones, we put together the following tips and insights.
Insurance Options to Protect Your Home
Your home is where your heart is — and your money! It’s probably your most valuable investment, which is why you need a homeowner's insurance policy to protect it. However, it’s important to note that even the best home insurance policy won’t pay for all damage caused by a hurricane. If you live in hurricane territory, understanding what your homeowner's policy will and will not cover is key to understanding and finding the right insurance options to protect your home.
As you know, hurricanes bring two main problems: wind and water. Depending on where you live, you may need to consider purchasing these separate policies to cover hurricane damage:
Flood Insurance: A homeowner's insurance policy will not cover flood damage caused by a hurricane or storm. In fact, it won’t cover flooding in general. However, you can purchase flood insurance separately through your local Cushman Insurance agent.
Windstorm Insurance: In most states, standard homeowner's policies cover damage caused by wind, including hurricanes. However, if you own a home in a high-risk coastal area, it is possible that you may need to purchase separate wind coverage. Windstorm insurance covers damage from any high winds, not just hurricanes. We would suggest calling your Cushman Agent to confirm you have wind coverage on your policy.
Tips for Purchasing Hurricane Protection
Did you know Massachusetts is one of nineteen states that offer hurricane deductibles? Hurricane deductibles are different from other deductibles, as it is determined by a percentage of a property’s risk.
Example: If your home is insured for $200,000 and your hurricane damage deductible is 2%, you would need to pay the first $4,000 in damages before the insurance company will begin to pay for the damages.
Whether you’re purchasing homeowners insurance, flood insurance, or windstorm insurance — or in some situations, all three — make sure you have enough coverage to pay for the full cost of rebuilding your house.
Don’t procrastinate and wait until a hurricane is headed your way to make sure you have the right protection. Most insurers will not allow homeowners to buy new, or additional, insurance if there's already a hurricane forecasted. Flood insurance policies also impose a 30-day waiting period between the time you purchase the policy and the time the coverage takes effect.
Any time your policy is up for renewal, remember that you may be able to save money by comparing quotes.
How To Prepare for a Hurricane
Hurricanes can be scary, and that’s why we’ve put together some tips on how to be prepared for the storm.
If you have valuables valued over $1,000, make sure to take out a valuable possession policy.
When a hurricane is forecasted, park your car somewhere high and dry to prevent flooding or water damage.
Create an evacuation plan so that your family knows where a designated meeting point is, where to shelter, etc.
Give each family member an assignment — have someone be responsible for collecting the pets, securing doors and windows, and getting the emergency supplies.
Know your town’s evacuation plan. You can find an interactive map here.
Whether you have a vacation home near the water or are looking to protect your home from unexpected storms, it’s worth discussing whether or not you need an additional layer of protection for your home. Give your local Cushman Insurance Agent a call so we can help you live more and worry less: 508-586-5310.