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What To Know About Hurricane And Storm Coverage In SW Florida

Hurricanes are far from a rare occurrence in SW Florida, but the damage seen after Hurricane Ian was still an eye-opening experience for many. Severe storms like Hurricane Ian in September of 2022 don’t show up on our shores every season, but they can appear any season without much warning. Before another severe storm rolls through the area it pays to know a bit about hurricane and storm coverage in SW Florida, what’s covered, what’s not, and what you can do if you find yourself facing a low-ball claim.

Is Hurricane Insurance A Requirement?

While hurricane insurance is not a legal requirement in SW Florida, it’s always a good idea. For those new to the Southwest Florida area, it’s important to note that hurricane insurance doesn’t always come standard with a homeowner’s insurance policy. Purchasing a specific hurricane policy is recommended, as is learning about your policy, what it covers, and what it doesn’t before you find yourself needing to use it.

What Does Hurricane Insurance Cover?

Hurricane insurance policies will typically cover wind damage, damage caused by flying debris, and sometimes storm surge, but it doesn’t typically cover flooding. Flood insurance is a separate policy that homeowners must purchase on top of their hurricane insurance if they wish to protect their homes from a flood due to a hurricane or any other sort of storm.

While flood insurance, like hurricane insurance, isn’t legally required, it may be required by mortgage lenders depending on how flood prone your area of SW Florida is. Those who live in hurricane prone areas typically live in flood prone areas and obtaining a flood insurance policy is recommended for all property owners of the area.

What Happens If My Home Experiences Flood Damage During A Hurricane?

If your SW Florida home experiences flood damage during a hurricane you will be required to make two separate claims with your two separate insurance policies. One claim will be made with your hurricane insurance and the other for your flood insurance; which means you will need to deal with two separate claims processes, evidence collection, and negotiations if your claim amount isn’t enough to cover your damages. Flooding and hurricanes often go hand in hand, and this presents a complicated situation for many.

How Long Does The Claims Process Take?

The claims process after a hurricane in SW Florida is unfortunately not a quick one. During massive damaging storms like Hurricane Ian, this process can take even longer as insurance providers are experiencing an influx of various claims. On average, the time it takes to process a hurricane damage claim in Florida is around two months. In contrast, the national average for the hurricane claims process is around one month, but Floridians can expect their experience to take twice as long.

Collecting significant evidence, organizing your evidence, taking plenty of photos, and having an attorney by your side can help to speed up the claims process. While you may still have some time to wait, your wait time could be significantly shorter especially during the busy hurricane season.

For those in SW Florida who have experience hurricane damage, or those who don’t want to complicate their experiences next hurricane season, storm damage attorneys can help. You can have a guide through the evidence collection process, you’ll know what to say and what not to say to affect your claim, and you can rest assured that you have a professional on your side during negotiations.

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