From CNBC June 1, 2017
Miami Hurricane Season
You — and your home — are in for a tough Miami hurricane season. Scientists expect 11 to 17 named storms in 2017, and as many as 9 may be hurricanes.
It’s looking like a busy season for hurricanes — and homeowners. Prime time for these big storms along the Atlantic coast kicks off on June 1 and runs until Nov. 30.
Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are forecasting “an above normal” hurricane season with as many as 11 to 17 named storms this year. Of those, 5 to 9 could become hurricanes. Four of these may become major hurricanes with sustained winds of at least 111 mph.
Hurricane Sandy, which bashed the East Coast in October 2012, resulted in $18.8 billion in estimated insured losses, according to Verisk Analytics’ Property Claim Services.
Check these items in your existing policy to get a sense of how well you’re covered in the event of a storm:
Homeowners insurance limits
Your homeowners coverage isn’t bulletproof if a tropical storm or hurricane strikes your home.
For instance, your policy may have a hurricane deductible, making you responsible for the equivalent of 1 percent to 5 percent of your home’s insured value.
Whether this deductible is applied will be based on your policy’s terms and your state’s insurance laws. Hurricane deductibles are in effect in 19 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Insurance Information Institute. These are Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
Aim to have at least the amount you’d need to meet your deductible either in cash or in a home equity line that you arrange ahead of time.
Your homeowner’s coverage likely won’t cover any damage related to flooding, so you’ll need to buy this coverage through either the National Flood Insurance Program or the private market. A 2016 poll from the Insurance Information Institute showed that 12 percent of American homeowners had a flood insurance policy.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a cure-all: Under the program, coverage on the structure of your home is limited to $250,000, and your contents are protected up to $100,000.
Here’s your checklist
Know your deductible: Understand the amount you’ll need to pay out of pocket before your coverage kicks in. See how your hurricane deductible compares to your standard deductible.
Review your policy’s details: Examine your homeowner’s policy and see if your insurer will reimburse you for a hotel stay or rental home if you’re displaced from your dwelling. Check the limits: These can be a per diem or a flat dollar amount.
Top up your insurance shortfalls now: If you haven’t bought flood coverage, and you live near water, you’re taking a big risk. Consider excess flood coverage if your home’s value exceeds the $250,000 maximum covered by the National Flood Insurance Program.
Don’t forget personal items: Think about adding endorsements to your homeowner’s coverage so that you can replace valuables
Consider improvements to protect your home: Check valves can protect your home from sewage and drainage backflow. Roof clamps and window shutters can limit your wind damage in the event of a storm. “Once you’ve let the wind in through a broken window, the likelihood is that you’ll lose the roof and home.”
Get in Touch with Mario, Your Miami Realtor
I’m Mario Quintero of Strock and Tanner Mortgage, your mortgage & realtor for life. I’ve lived in South Florida long enough to know the dangers hurricanes can pose to your home. Let me help you weather storms with appropriate checklists. Let me be your Miami home consultant. Our office specializes in both residential and commercial real estate and financing programs. Let me help you secure a conventional, jumbo, FHA and foreign national mortgage loans. Furthermore, we can help your elderly parents secure a comfortable retirement with a reverse mortgage..