Predictions for the upcoming 2023 hurricane season forecast some major storms and homeowners should look twice at their insurance policies to make sure they are adequately covered for storm risks, according to a recent survey.
Hurricanes are one of the extreme weather events that homeowners worry about the most, second to earthquakes. Still, some may not be adequately insured to cover damages these storms do to homes, according to a National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) survey.
While 65% of American homeowners perceived hurricanes as a moderate to extreme risk, only slightly more than half said they have specialized coverage against flooding – which is the costliest and most dangerous damage from hurricanes.
Flood damage is typically not covered under a standard homeowner policy and is available as a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Program or the private market.
Colorado State University hurricane researchers have forecasted below-average activity for the season, which starts on June 1. However, the experts have still predicted that there will be 13 named storms this year, including six hurricanes, with two expected to reach Category 3 or higher.
The University of Arizona hurricane forecasting team said 2023 would see above-average hurricane activity, similar to 2017, which saw the extremely intense hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
“Hurricane season is almost here, which means the homes and livelihoods of the people mutual insurers serve will once again be at risk,” Neil Alldredge, the president and CEO of NAMIC, said. “Standard homeowners and renters’ policies don’t cover flooding, so it’s imperative that homeowners assess their risk and understand how to protect their most valuable assets by obtaining flood insurance coverage.”
Homeowners should be prepared for what’s shaping up to be an active hurricane season. If you want to make sure you have enough insurance and the right coverage for your needs, you can visit Credible to check out plans, providers, and costs.
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Inflation may mean homeowners are underinsured
Rising inflation and supply chain issues mean the costs of fixing damage or replacing a home have increased. For some homeowners, rising costs could bring the nasty surprise that they are underinsured.
Being underinsured means owning an insurance policy that only covers a portion of losses in a claim, often because of exclusions or coverage limits. Policyowners could face higher out-of-pocket costs if their coverage hasn’t increased to reflect higher replacement values, the survey said.
“Inflation, on-going supply chain issues, and increased demand for skilled labor and construction materials following unprecedented natural disasters in recent years have contributed to a significant increase in the costs and timeframes to rebuild homes and businesses,” Karen Collins, the vice president of property and environmental at the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) said in a statement. “It is imperative that homeowners review and update their insurance policy prior to hurricane season to keep pace with elevated costs.
“There are key coverage features consumers should consider that can help prevent underinsurance, so talk to your insurer or agent about your options,” Collins continued.
If you have a mortgage, you’re typically required to carry homeowners insurance, but you don’t have to stick with any particular insurance company. If you want to save on your home insurance costs, you could shop around for the best rate. Credible can help you compare home insurance rates from top insurance carriers all in one place.
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Preparing your home for hurricanes could save you money
Double-checking that a homeowners insurance policy will adequately protect a home from damages resulting from a natural disaster is only part of the hurricane preparedness Americans should take ahead of this year’s storm season.
Insurers also recommend other low-cost ways to help reduce potential damage to homes. For example, trimming trees and branches away from the house, inspecting a home’s roof to repair loose or damaged shingles, securing loose gutters and sealing gaps and cracks around windows and doors to prevent water intrusion.
Upgrading a home to include a wind-rated garage door or hurricane shutters could also help reduce the impact of major hurricanes. Additionally, it might help homeowners qualify for a premium discount, according to Collins.
“Many insurers offer discounts for mitigation measures that help reduce the likelihood of a loss or the extent of damage,” Collins said. “Discounts vary by company, so talk to your insurer or agent to see what is available to you.”
Whether your concern is hurricane damage, tornado damage, wind damage, flood damage, or beyond —it’s best to obtain multiple quotes from several insurance companies to compare prices and what is and isn’t covered. To help you find the best insurance rate for your situation, visit Credible to compare multiple providers at once and choose the right option for you.
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