North Carolina’s coast and inland areas are prone to hurricanes during the summer and autumn. In fact, the state is home to three of the ten counties nationwide that see the most hurricane impacts, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).
When hurricanes occur, they can cause widespread and devastating damage and flooding. Most people who live in the coastal plain are well-aware of these risks. Most want to always carry the appropriate homeowners insurance to prevent massive losses.
However, many insurers cannot adequately cover homeowners for all types of hurricane risks. Depending on the policy you choose, you might have limits on coverage for named storms, windstorms, hail and flood damage. Be sure to inspect your policy with your agent to learn if you need to buy additional protection.
Standard Homeowners Insurance and its Limits
Storm damage is hard to predict and expensive to clean up. On one hand, most homeowners policies can cover storm damage from hail and high winds. However, once a storm develops into a hurricane, your coverage might become limited.
Because of the exceptional damage associated with hurricanes, many insurers cannot assume the cost risks. So, to get coverage against these hazards, you might have to buy separate windstorm & hail damage coverage. In most coastal areas, homeowners policies will include these limitations. The North Carolina Insurance Underwriting Association provides many of these policies.
Flood insurance is almost never included under homeowners insurance of any kind. Keep in mind, however, that floods can happen any time, even outside of hurricanes.
Therefore, you might have a requirement to buy this coverage if you live in an area that is prone to flooding. River swells, flash floods and other flooding can receive coverage. Many who live in the coastal Carolinas have a requirement to carry this coverage.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides the bulk of flood insurance in the United States. It will apply to damage to your home’s structure and the possessions inside, including during hurricanes. There are also private flood policies available, and their coverage offerings might differ.
Deductibles Under Named Storm Insurance
When a named storm occurs, then you might see some changes in the deductible of your insurance. Often, your homeowners, windstorm or hail coverage will include a percentage deductible. For example, if you have a home insured for $100,000 and the hurricane deductible is 15%, then you will pay a $15,000 deductible for damage caused by named storms.
Never hesitate to ask your agent how you need to go about getting coverage for hurricane damage. They are happy to help you find the right solution.
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