Hurricane Season 2012 – Be Prepared!

The official beginning of Hurricane Season 2012 is June 1. However, many Floridians have already endured the driving rains and battering winds of Tropical Storm Beryl. As we enter into Hurricane Season 2012, take time to consider stocking up on hurricane supplies, including non-perishable food items, can openers, water, battery-operated radios, flashlights, different varieties of batteries, clean clothes, extra blankets, and any necessary medications.

However, hurricane supplies are not the only issue of preparedness Floridians need to keep in mind as we enter yet another Hurricane Season. In Florida, hurricane insurance is a very important piece of a homeowners’ insurance policy. Florida law requires insurers issuing residential property insurance policies to include hurricane windstorm coverage in the policies. There are some key definitions to understand regarding hurricane insurance in Florida. “Hurricane coverage” is coverage for loss or damage caused by windstorm during a hurricane. This includes ensuing damage to the interior of a building, or to property inside a building, caused by rain, snow, sleet, hail, sand, or dust if the direct force of the windstorm first damages the building, causing an opening through which rain, snow, sleet, hail, sand, or dust enters and causes damage. “Windstorm” means wind, wind gusts, hail, rain, tornadoes, or cyclones caused by or resulting from a hurricane that results in direct physical loss or damage to property.”Hurricane” means a storm system that has been declared to be a hurricane by the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center

Florida homeowners should consider installing qualifying hurricane-proof upgrades, as such upgrades can entitle homeowners to significant discounts of up to 42% off premium prices. With regard to hurricane insurance deductibles, homeowners need to make sure, and Florida law requires that, homeowners’ insurance policies make clear that there is a separate hurricane insurance deductible and that such deductible could result in high out-of-pocket expenses to the homeowner.

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that Flood Insurance is NOT part of standard homeowners’/hurricane insurance policies in Florida. No flood insurance means that there will be no coverage for damage caused by the storm surge associated with a hurricane. If you do not have flood insurance, please visit the website for the National Flood Insurance Program by clicking here.

Stay safe and be prepared this hurricane season. If you are having a dispute with your insurance company, please call the experienced attorneys of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes, P.A. to see if you have a case. Consultations are always free. The law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes, P.A. has been serving the community since 1955 in matters involving personal injury and insurance disputes. We will see you through.

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