A moratorium is not your friend in Florida. Waiting to get any insurance until you need it is not an ideal situation. Some limitations will prevent you from attaining health insurance coverage at the last minute, such as pre-existing conditions and other exclusions. The same occurs with property insurance policies, home, auto, and renters. Insurers will put moratoriums on the issuance of new policies when the possibility of damage is possible, especially when a storm is approaching.
When a storm is approaching, insurance companies will have binding prohibitions, also known as moratoriums. Which means no policies can go into effect during this period. While this situation may not occur frequently, it can put homeowners in a real bind. If you are purchasing or trying to update your current policy, you can find yourself with an insufficient amount of coverage or no coverage at all during a storm.
While insurance providers wait between 24 to 48 before impact before issuing a moratorium on property coverage, there can be moratoriums issued for other potential property damage occurrences including, rioting and wildfires. Flood coverage that is offered by either private insurers or the National Flood Insurance Program does not have a moratorium on providing coverage during a potential storm; they do, however, have a 30-day waiting period when issuing new policies.
When is there a moratorium in place?
A carrier is likely to issue a moratorium on any new policies when the possibility of a storm’s path will damage. Therefore, if you have applied for further coverage, you will have to wait to get the policy issued. Carriers will contact Florida Risk Partners as they start to issue moratoriums due to approaching storms. We can advise you on the ability of the insurers to increase your policy limits or issue a new one.
Prior to a storm
Prepare your home before a storm, which is something we can all do even do. Regardless of whether you have insurance do not have insurance or do not have enough coverage, we can all secure our homes. Securing our homes can be done regardless of what type of coverage you have. The overall goal is to avoid damage to your home. The safety of your family and should not depend on your ability to file a claim. Prior to any storm season, homeowners take the time to prepare their homes. Some of the recommendations by the Insurance Information Institute (III) that homeowners should do are the following:
- Cut back any large tree limbs and branches.
- All items that can become projectiles need to be secured, such as outdoor furniture, trash cans, and flowerpots.
- Have storm shutters or plywood panels available to install over openings such as windows and doors.
- Check that garage doors are approved for the most recent wind and impact standards.
- Exterior doors should have at a minimum of three hinges and a one-inch deadbolt.
- Ensure that outside wall openings are adequately sealed, including vents or areas where any pipes or cables enter a wall.
- Make sure gutters and downspouts are free of debris to make sure that water flows away from the home.
Not all these items can be accomplished while a storm is bearing down on you. The objective is to get some of the preparation done before the storm season. And just have the final details left when the potential for a storm is close.
In case of a claim
After you have made the necessary preparations for your home. There are other items to have ready in case of a claim.
Have an updated home inventory
Make sure that you have a recent list of items in your home before a storm strike. It does not have to be an extensive detailed list. It can be a video shot on your phone of all your items. There are a few apps available to help document your belongings and condition of your home. You can always save it to a backup system, which will come in handy during the claim process.
Know your insurance coverage
The best place to look and find out the coverage you have available is your policies declaration page. It will have a breakdown of what your policy limits are and what your deductibles are. One of the main items to refresh yourself with is what kind of wind coverage you may or may not have, including sewer back up coverage. Both these items are two of the areas where homeowners see the most damage. Another area homeowner sees the most damage done to their homes is due to flooding. However, flood coverage is a separate policy. You should verify whether you have flood coverage available before the storm season.
Insurance policies for homeowners, particularly those in areas near the coast, will typically have separate deductibles for hurricane or damage caused by wind. Instead of being a specified dollar amount, these deductibles will range from 1 to 5% of the home’s insured value. Separate hurricane or windstorm deductibles will be detailed on your declarations page.
Once the storm passes
Your declaration page will include how to follow through on a claim should you need to. There are few things to do before contacting your carrier should you need to file a claim.
After making sure that all loved ones are safe and secure, document the damage. Like keeping inventory, take as many photos and videos as possible before cleaning up.
Document your expenses related to the storm damage. Your policy may reimburse you for costs associated with having to relocate when your home is damaged. Save all receipts to make a claim.
After the storm or hurricane has passed, make sure that you are ready for the next one. It is an excellent time to investigate getting coverage or increasing the amount of your coverage. Moratoriums for property coverage will be lifted after the storm passes, and insurers will be willing to write new policies. However, some insurers may take a little longer to start offering new policies, especially if they sustain heavy losses. You can always check with Florida Risk Partners, whether it is possible to get a new policy.
Getting an evaluation to make sure you have the coverage you need is a good idea. Suppose you received a specific rate before the moratorium was enacted. The same price may not be available afterward, especially if your home sustained damage during the storm. Contact us at Florida Risk Partners to make sure you have the coverage you need. Prior to any storm, take appropriate steps to prepare yourself, family, and your home. Since you never know when the next storm will hit.