Hurricane season began Thursday: What’s the right coverage plan?

Home owners need to look to their insurance needs for hurricane season
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 5:53 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) -The Pine Belt, may not take direct impacts from hurricanes.

But damage from flooding, wind and hail damage from a hurricane could destroy your home.

Instead of trying to decide when to get coverage on a home, owners should act now before the flood waters come a-knocking on your doorstep.

Hurricane season has officially begun, and one of the last things to worry about is homeowners insurance.

There are several types of home coverage available. Some do not include flood insurance, which is crucial should a hurricane hit.

“In the state of Mississippi, I require that agencies tell someone who’s buying a homeowner policy that you do not have flood insurance,” says Mike Chaney, Mississippi Insurance Commissioner. “As a matter of fact, some of them use a big red stamp on the face of the policy that says you are not covered for flood unless you buy flood insurance and we have offered it to you.”

And, flood insurance can’t be bought just before a hurricane is supposed to hit.

Act now.

“You’ve got to buy it 30 days before a hurricane occurs, the same as the old federal standards for flood insurance, Chaney said. “You have to buy it early. You just can’t wait and buy it the day before a hurricane.”

And for those who’ve purchased a normal homeowner’s policy, beware. The policy may not cover everything you need in case of a disaster.

“A normal homeowner policy, HL3, if you do not live on the Coast will cover wind and hail insurance in addition to fire and casualties,” Chaney said. “If you live on the Coast, many insurance writers will not cover wind and hail.”

Hurricane insurance isn’t a single policy, it is a combination of flood, home and wind insurance.

Any other coverages to be added will be at the behest of an insurance provider.

And, plenty of companies offer different policies.

“Talk to your friends, your neighbors, get advice, call an agent,” Chaney said. “It’s all right to Google and find somebody to call,. That’s okay to do. Shop around. That’s what it’s about.

“It’s a competitive market. Rates are a little tight right now, but they’ll come back down.”

While ensuring home coverage, it wouldn’t hurt to ask whether a vehicle also is protected.

To find the best policy, talk to an insurance provider.

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