Hurricanes affect many Floridians yearly, causing significant damage from storm surges, wind damage, rip currents and flooding. In 2021, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported 21 named storms that cost almost $70 billion in damages.
Whether you live by the Florida coast or inland, your home and belongings could suffer hurricane damage. Knowing how to prepare for a storm and ensuring you have adequate insurance protection is essential.
What Insurance Do I Need for Hurricanes?
The protection you need for hurricane insurance isn’t in one specific policy but separate policies that help protect against hurricane damage.
Many homeowners choose home insurance, flood insurance and other endorsements, such as sewer backup and windstorm coverage. Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, so you may need an additional flood policy.
The insurance you choose should be enough to cover the costs of rebuilding your home and replacing any damaged belongings. Many homeowners choose the following coverages for hurricane protection:
- Homeowners insurance may protect your home’s structure from certain aspects of storm damage.
- Additional living expense (ALE) coverage can be helpful if a hurricane destroys your home and you must live elsewhere.
- Flood insurance may protect from flooding, storm surges and wind-driven water, typical with hurricanes.
- Sewer backup coverage can be added to your homeowners policy and may provide invaluable protection since sewer backups are common with hurricanes.
You may be able to purchase flood insurance separately through the National Flood Insurance Program or your insurance company. The Iten Agency helps our customers in Davie, Port Orange, Daytona Beach and throughout Florida with their insurance needs, and we can also help you with hurricane protection.
What Should I Do to Prepare for a Hurricane?
To prepare for high winds and flooding, you need a plan to evacuate and shelter safely. You must gather supplies and know what you need to do when a storm arrives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers comprehensive hurricane guidelines you can use to prepare for a storm.
This essential information can help you prepare for a hurricane:
Protect Your Livelihood
- Know the difference between a “watch” and a “warning.” Listen for National Weather Service alerts on your TV or radio or check them online. A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or higher) are possible. A hurricane warning is more severe, meaning hurricane-force winds are expected. These warnings are usually issued 36 hours before tropical-storm-force winds are expected to give people time to prepare.
- Make a plan. Make sure everyone in your household knows the evacuation plan. Keep emergency phone numbers nearby and have everyone add them to their cell phones.
- Prepare an emergency supply kit. Prepare a kit with food, water, prescriptions and needed medical supplies to last 72 hours. Put critical documents, such as medical records, in a waterproof container.
- Get your vehicle ready. Ensure your gas tank is full and that you have your emergency kit inside your vehicle. If you don’t own a vehicle, plan to have a friend or family give you a ride.
- Plan for your pet’s safety. Identify pet-friendly shelters or hotels, or ask an out-of-town friend or relative to take your pets if there’s an evacuation. Your local animal shelter can help you with what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
- Find the nearest shelter. Find a nearby shelter so you can get there quickly if you need to. Plan different routes to get there in case there are road closures.
- Get your home ready. Clean your yard and move bikes, outdoor furniture, grills or other items inside. Cover doors and windows to protect them. Turn off your power if you see flooding, downed power lines or you need to leave your home.
The Iten Agency team can help you with your hurricane insurance needs. Call us at 954-680-0360 to get the proper hurricane coverage for your home and belongings.