Atlantic hurricane season goes from the beginning of June to the end of November. When a lot of people hear that a hurricane is impending, their reaction is to get home insurance straight away. The problem is that getting home insurance right before a hurricane might not be possible. That’s because there are binding restrictions. In short, that means that you probably can’t get home insurance before a hurricane. What does all this mean? We’ll explain.
Why you can’t get home insurance before a hurricane.
If a major storm is bearing down on your area and looks like it’s about to hit your town, it might seem ludicrous that no one wants to sell you home insurance. Why won’t they let you get home insurance?
Like we said, binding restrictions.
Here’s the deal:
Insurance carriers keep a very close eye on the weather. And when it looks like a hurricane is going to hit, they issue binding restrictions (also called moratoriums) on the areas that are likely to be affected. A binding restriction basically means that the insurance carrier isn’t going to sell or finalize coverage for a while. Should there be a warning issued for a tropical storm, tropical depression, or a hurricane, insurance companies will stop selling insurance in that area. That binding restriction will stay put until the storm is long gone – usually it takes a few days after the storm for carriers to lift the restriction.
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If you already have home insurance, it’s important to know that you probably can’t increase your limits of coverage during this time or lower your deductible during this time, either. Unfortunately, that’s just the way things work.
Can I get flood insurance?
The thing you need to know about flood insurance is that it takes a while for a policy to become effective. When you get a flood insurance policy, you have to wait 30 days for it to kick in. There are very few exceptions to this rule (for example if you’re closing on a home and you need it for the mortgage.) Just to clarify, this waiting period applies all the time. It’s not only when hurricanes threaten to cause destruction.
Anyways, what we’re saying is that it’s not a bad thought to want to get flood insurance. It’s just that you have to plan in advance and give yourself plenty of time when you’re getting your flood insurance. Home insurance does NOT cover flooding due to surface water accumulation, which is why it’s important to get flood insurance sooner rather than later.
Other things to know about flood insurance: the thirty day waiting period starts when the policy premium has been paid. Also, you have to pay for flood insurance in one installment – there’s no monthly payment option.
Make sure you have the home insurance and flood insurance you need.
So, a hurricane is a pretty extreme example of a disaster that could befall your home. But a loss doesn’t have to come in the form of a tropical storm to be financially harmful to you. From fires to falling trees to hail to lightning, you could be facing some huge bills if you ever had a loss to your home. It’s important to get the home insurance you need to protect yourself. Don’t put it off.
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Our team of insurance experts would be happy to help you get insurance – whether it’s home insurance, flood insurance, or both. Just give us a call today – or fill out our online form, if you prefer. You can also message us on LiveChat.