Over the last few years, hurricanes have impacted many areas along the American coasts. New Jersey is no stranger to the potential dangers. In fact, Hurricane Sandy alone cost New Jersey business about 8.3 billion dollars in damages. As many homeowners have found, homes and buildings often present little resistance when confronted by the immense power of these tropical storms. Unfortunately, many homeowners find out after the storms that their insurance does not cover as much as they thought it did.
Hurricanes do not only cause a lot of damage; they cause many different types of damage. Because of the variety of damages it is unlikely that any one insurance plan will cover all potential causes of damage. When working to make sure that your property is covered against hurricane damage, it is important to know exactly what type of insurance covers particular types of damages.
What does hurricane insurance actually cover?
Because of its name, many people assume that hurricane insurance covers damages caused by hurricanes when actually most hurricane insurance policies primarily cover damage caused by high winds and water.
Even though hurricane insurance covers many forms of damage, policies will sometimes have clauses that exclude the insurer from covering "wind driven rain" unless there are special circumstances. While high winds and large amounts of water can absolutely cause huge amounts of damage, one of the most prevalent and costly forms of damage in hurricanes comes from flooding.
Most hurricane insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Fortunately, the United States government created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968. One of the primary goals of this program is to provide flood insurance coverage to the people living in areas that are most likely to flood.
Most flood insurance programs are run by the NFIP even if the policies are purchased from an independent insurer. The NFIP generally operates in correlation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide assistance to those how are most affected by hurricanes and the damage caused by them. Despite the advantages of both hurricane insurance and flood insurance, many people find they must have both in order to be adequately covered.
The time leading up to the arrival of a hurricane is generally very stressful. One of the last things you want to do is add additional stress by not having your insurance situation finalized and in order. Most hurricane and flood insurance programs require prompt and specific action on the part of the policy holder, so if you are going through the process of insuring your property it is recommended that you obtain the services of an experienced legal professional.