Hurricane season has officially begun along the Texas Gulf Coast. The first storm warning of the year has been issued as Tropical Storm Barry has set it sights on Louisiana and Southeast Texas. This is that time of year when phone calls begin to roll in about coverage for Texans that can be affected by the big storms that brew in the warm waters of the Gulf. What are the key items that Texas homeowners need to be aware of with respect to hurricanes?
- Know Your Hurricane & Named Storm Deductible
- Homeowner policies in Texas typically have three deductibles. If a named storm is creating the weather, the deductible specific to hurricanes and named storms will be your responsibility. There is a huge difference in cost to you between 2% and 5% of the dwelling value.
- Your distance from coastal waters can have an influence on your minimum level of deductible. Working with an independent insurance agent can help you find solutions that make your costs out of pocket less expensive.
- Buy Flood Insurance Early!
- Your home insurance policy does not cover damage to your home if it cause by flood waters that are a result of the hurricane no matter how much you may scream.
- If your lender does not mandate flood insurance at the time of the closing, you will likely have to wait 30 days from application for the coverage to begin protecting you. Therefore, buying it right before is not possible!
- Don't Wait For Warnings To Establish Or Verify Coverage
- The reality for homeowners is that most home insurance companies that provide coverage to coastal properties will shut down the ability to buy coverage once a warning is issued for specific areas.
- The other thing that those companies won't allow you to do is to change the policy once the landing zone is established.
- This is done to prevent what is known is anti-selection in the industry. That is to say that the only people changing at that point in time are doing so knowing that they are going to make claims and there will not enough premiums to cover those claims.
- ACT EARLY!
Hurricanes are serious business and have some special ramifications for home and property owners. The insurance side can be problematic when people attempt to operate in a manner that violates these three key areas. If you aren't sure what Texas home insurance you have today for your property in close proximity to the Gulf, speak with one of our independent insurance agents today. Our professionals can help guide your decision making process to benefit you most in the event that we get another storm this season.