Here are some technical items to know about your Hurricane Insurance coverage.
- Hurricane Insurance and Home Insurance are different: Whether Hurricane Insurance is included in your Home Insurance or purchased as a separate policy, there is always a distinct difference in terms of the deductible structure. Traditional Home Insurance typically employs a fixed dollar deductible that you must pay before utilizing the coverage in a claim (ie a $1,000 deductible). In contrast, a Hurricane Insurance deductible is commonly calculated as a percentage of the policy coverage (ie a policy with $500,000 coverage and a 2% deductible would result in a $10,000 deductible amount). Furthermore, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the coverage limits specific to your Hurricane Insurance policy as it does not always match the corresponding coverage on your Home Insurance policy.
- When do I file a claim on Home Insurance vs Hurricane Insurance: As previously mentioned, there can be a significant disparity in the deductible amount for Home or Hurricane Insurance claims. The key factor for determining whether a claim falls under Hurricane Insurance doesn’t solely revolve around wind speed at the time of loss but rather a specific timeframe. This timeframe begins when a Hurricane Warning is issued for your island and it extends for an additional 72 hours after that Hurricane Warning is lifted. Any wind damage sustained during this period falls under Hurricane Insurance and is subject to that corresponding deductible.
- Does your Hurricane Insurance include added structural coverage: An important question to ask your insurance agent is if your Hurricane Insurance includes structural coverage beyond the limit shown on paper. Some insurance companies may incorporate Extended Dwelling coverage providing an additional 15-25% of the listed structural coverage limit. Alternatively, other carriers may offer an optional endorsement called Economic Demand Surge that provides an additional 15% of Dwelling coverage if the cost of construction increases following a hurricane event. For individuals insured with Private Client Group Insurance, there is a significant feature called “Guaranteed Replacement Cost”. This feature ensures that you have the necessary coverage to repair or rebuild your home as it was at the time of the loss, irrespective of the amount stated on the policy. This peace of mind can be immense in situations where the cost of reconstruction exceeds the initial policy limit.
Taking the time to proactively understand your Hurricane Insurance is recommended to be sure your assets are adequately protected for future hurricane events.
Hawaii Hurricane Season
The Hawaii Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to November 30 each year. While hurricanes may form at other times of the year, this time period traditionally reflects the highest amount of activity due to warmer waters being present in the Pacific.