Windstorm coverage – Are You Protected?

By August 1, 2012

Photo via Texas A&M

Windstorm coverage – Are You Protected?
By Michael S. Perse
This hurricane season, before you pick up that novel you saved for summer vacation, pick up a copy of your property insurance policy. Whether you are insuring a residential or commercial property, it is important to review your policy to assess your possible risk.

Florida is one of the states that allows insurers to have a separate deductibles for windstorm coverage in the event of a hurricane. Generally, windstorm deductibles are a percentage of the total value – around 5%. If a property owner experiences $500,000 of damage, a 5% windstorm deductible would have that property owner coming out of pocket $25,000. Homeowners in particular are often surprised by this, which is why it is important to read your insurance policy carefully.
It is also important to review your insurance policy for exclusions. Specifically, canopies, screens, gazebos awnings and other similar structures are expressly excluded by most insurance policies. Therefore they are not part of the deductible and can subject the property owner to additional costs.
Finally, your basic property insurance policy does not cover floods including storm surge damage from a hurricane or big storm. Here in Florida, with heavy rains all summer long, flood insurance should never been overlooked.