Both Home and Hurricane insurance policies include protection for wind damage, but how do you know which policy would apply if a home sustains wind damage?
The answer to this question is not determined by wind speed of the storm, but rather by timing. As a storm front approaches and is on track to potentially make landfall the Central Pacific Hurricane Center will issue a Hurricane warning for each individual Hawaiian Island. This warning is normally issued 3-5 days before the storm is expected to make contact with a specific island or islands. Once the warning is initiated for an island(s), a virtual clock begins and will continue on for another 72 hours after the Hurricane warning is lifted for that island(s). Any wind damage sustained during this virtual timeframe would fall under the scope of a Hurricane Insurance policy. It should be noted this timeframe may be different for each island as the timing of when a Hurricane warning is both implemented and then lifted can vary. Conversely, any wind damage sustained outside of this timeframe would be covered by a Home Insurance policy.
The distinction of which policy will apply is significant when it comes to the coverage details of the Home and Hurricane insurance policies. Traditionally, a Home Insurance policy will have a lower deductible amount as it is normally a fixed amount (ie $500, $1,000, etc). Hurricane policies typically determine the deductible as a percentage of the policy coverage that translates into a larger dollar amount (ie 2% deductible from a $500,000 policy coverage = $10,000 deductible).
Another coverage distinction between policies is Home Insurance policies will automatically include coverage for Dwelling, Other Structures, Personal Property and Loss of Use but most Hurricane carriers will only require Dwelling coverage and offer the remaining coverage as optional features. A common misconception is that people assume the Personal Property coverage shown on their Home insurance policy will carry over if needed following a hurricane event. That is not the case. When filing a Hurricane claim the only coverage to apply will be the specific coverage named on the Hurricane policy, so if your Hurricane policy lists only the Dwelling coverage there will be coverage to repair or rebuild your home but nothing else. It is always recommended to at least carry enough Personal Property coverage on your Hurricane policy to cover main essentials needed for day to day living such as furniture, appliances and clothing. While a car can be considered a necessity, it would not be factored under Hurricane insurance as damage to a car during a hurricane would need to be covered under Auto Insurance.
Contact Atlas Insurance to discuss options for setting up Home and Hurricane coverage or for a consultation to review a current policy. We’ll help you get the right coverage for each specific home with a policy you can rely on.