Coastal Residents: Check Your Homeowners Insurance Now

June 6, 2011

The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially began last Wednesday, and NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is predicting a busy summer tropical storm-wise.

It should come as no surprise, then, that insurance regulators in coastal states like Virginia are strongly suggesting that homeowners – especially those with coastal property – spend some time this week reviewing their homeowners insurance policies.

Representatives from Virginia’s State Corporation Commission want to remind policyholders that some insurers include a deductible for hurricane or wind losses in their policies, but with other insurance companies such coverage is optional. The deductibles also can be written in two ways: either to be applied as a percentage of the coverage on the dwelling, or as a flat amount.

As well, insurance regulators want people to be reminded that since a lot of the damage from a hurricane is actually caused by flooding, separate flood insurance, which can be obtained through the National Flood Insurance Program, may be required.

Automobile insurance, the Virginia commission says, should also be reviewed to see whether wind or hurricane damage is covered.

As well, Virginians – and all coastal homeowners – should make copies of their vital records such as passports, driver’s licenses, social security cards, and birth certificates, and place them, and copies of their insurance policies, in safe, waterproof locations. A foil-wrapped package, inside a zip-top bag, in the freezer, is generally safe.