Will My Homeowner's Insurance Cover Me After a Hurricane?

Hurricane Dorian is bearing down hard and as we head towards Labor Day weekend, you probably want to make sure that your homeowners or renter insurance will hold up during this kind of a disaster. Here's some information about homeowners insurance and hurricane damage.

It often depends on the type of disaster you have. Most damages from many calamities are covered by a standard policy but some are not and so it's important to know what your policy covers. Plus, it might cover some of the damage but not the full extent and many homeowners and renters don't have adequate protection to cover all their losses. In addition, new tax reform laws could mean that uninsured losses can only be deducted in specific cases.

Homeowners insurance, condo, and renters insurance will cover damage sustained from most natural disasters including hurricanes. Most insurance will pay to repair the structure up to the insured amount. It may also cover possessions inside your home, up to about 70% of what the structure of your home is insured for. Landscaping and other elements may also be reimbursed at about $500 per item but again, it's important that you understand what's covered in your policy. Condo insurance can cover some structural elements but renters insurance will usually only cover your own possessions excluding appliances. However, landlords will usually have a policy that covers all of the above.

What is not covered?

Damage from flooding, earthquakes, mudslides, and sinkholes are usually excluded from homeowners insurance. These need to be a separate policy funded by the National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurer. Some policies may also exclude specific whether in coastal states such as Florida, North and South Carolina. So check with your current policy on if it covers everything you own and the area in which you live.

What can you do about uncovered losses?

You can deduct any personal property losses not covered by your insurance if the damage is from a federally declared disaster. To deduct these losses, subtract $100 from each loss before adding up the total cost. The total must be more than 10% of your adjusted gross income.

Keep your records. It's important to keep accurate records for filing claims. Take pictures of everything in your home, make notes on items that you have recently improved upon like a water heater or new roof, and have an inventory of all your possessions.

Stay safe out there Miami and let's buckle down and hold on tight.