As we prepare for Hurricane Ian in Tampa Bay and throughout Florida, an important part of your checklist for your personal and professional hurricane preparedness plan should be knowing your hurricane/storm coverage in your policies. ‘insurance. While we all hope to avoid major impacts or damage from the storm, even minor damage may be covered by your insurance policy. However, the terms of your insurance policy may require you to report claims before doing anything other than emergency repairs. As such, reviewing your policies before the storm can not only be helpful in knowing what damages are covered, but can also avoid taking action that jeopardizes what would otherwise be covered claims.
Know your deductibles
Florida laws protect homeowners against an unexpected drop in windstorm and hurricane coverage, but allow insurance companies to set a different (and usually higher) deductible for hurricane-related claims. These deductibles can be up to 10% of policy limits for home/property coverages and can also apply to claims discovered in the days immediately following the hurricane. Knowing your deductible will allow you to have a more accurate understanding of your potential hurricane claims.
For your commercial lines, you should be sure to review your policy to ensure you have windstorm coverage and double check if a higher deductible applies.
What policy applies and what coverages apply
If you are on an active construction site, you probably have a general liability insurance policy. But these liability policies are unlikely to cover the most common losses caused by a windstorm or hurricane. Common hurricane claims are more likely to be covered by a builder’s risk insurance policy. When preparing your project site for the storm, you should determine who has the builders insurance and review that policy to see what coverages are available in the event of a claim.
Depending on the terms of your builder’s risk insurance policy, there may be coverage for incidental costs such as delays, accelerated construction costs, consultant fees, and possibly even attorneys’ fees. . Knowing your coverages before a claim arises will ensure that you are able to receive the insurance benefits that were purchased.
Be prepared to file a claim
As many insurance policies require claims to be reported promptly after a loss occurs and even before any work is done to repair the loss, being prepared to file a claim before the storm hits will maximize your chances of recovery under applicable insurance policies… it can also provide you with some peace of mind in a stressful situation. Good practice includes identifying a contact person familiar with the policy to inventory any potential damage and document it with photographs, videos and notes. Also, know to whom you should report any claim and what evidence or documents are needed to report a claim. Know what types of damage will warrant emergency repairs and what claims must be reported to the carrier before work can begin. And take photos of your property before the storm hits so you can show before and after photos of the property.
While knowing your available insurance coverage is an important part of your hurricane preparations, the most important thing in any storm is to be safe and take all reasonable precautions to protect yourself, as well as your loved ones and those around you. From all of us at Hill Ward Henderson, we hope and pray that Hurricane Ian passes without major impact to our community.
© 2007-2022 Hill Ward Henderson, All Rights ReservedNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 270