Before hurricane season ramps up, check your homeowner’s insurance

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Rick Robinson is no stranger to dealing with insurance companies. His home was damaged by Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and again by Hurricane Irma in 2017.

“We had an adjuster out and basically didn’t approve a new roof or anything, so we did repairs, but the roof has been problematic ever since,” said Robinson.

August, September, and October are usually the months when South Florida residents see the greatest threat from storms and it is a good time to review your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Insurance expert Adrian Dzielnicki, co-CEO of NSure, said the big mistake many people make is putting premium cost before coverage, rather than ensuring coverage meets their needs.

“You can change your policy at any time and get money back from the unused amount from the previous provider,” said Dzielnicki.

When considering the cost, he said people need to remember that the deductible for hurricanes is actually 5 percent of the policy’s value, which is far higher than the deductible for non-storm claims.

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That means a policy for $ 300,000 would have a deductible of $ 15,000. That would be your expenses – what you have to cover before the insurance starts, ”said Dzielnicki.

And things like fences, sheds, pool rails, and detached garages may have separate deductibles that can be so high that the homeowner is not eligible for reimbursement for damage or loss.

“Some of the airlines have included this coverage automatically, others have not, so this creates confusion,” said Dzielnicki.

Despite choosing a policy that cost him less than in the past, Robinson now realizes that his expenses may be higher than what he would have paid for a more expensive policy.

“I think we’re going to be working with one of the more expensive companies in the future so we don’t have to look at it again,” said Robinson.

Last but not least, check whether your policy has what is known as “actual cash value” or “replacement value”. The replacement value covers the current cost of an item, while the actual value takes into account depreciation. This means that you may only get part of the money needed for repairs.

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