Jacksonville and Duval County border the Atlantic Ocean. Most locals are familiar with how closely weather patterns relate to oceanic conditions. Now that spring has begun, it can only mean one thing — the start of hurricane season around the corner. Most people know that Florida has a high risk of hurricanes — particularly from June to November. So, if a storm damages your home, you might wonder if your policy will cover hurricane damage.
How home insurance applies to hurricanes can vary considerably. Pay close attention to your policy. Work with your Insurance Place of Orange Park agent to determine the right coverage for your home.
Common Hurricane Damage
Hurricanes usually bring a variety of bad weather conditions with them. These might include:
- High winds with rapidly-changing directions
- Tornadic activity
- Driving rains and hail
- Storm surge and flooding
- Severe lightning
As a result, the damage to your home might include:
- Roof, foundation and structural damage
- Water damage from rain and storm surge
- Uprooted foliage
- Destroyed belongings
- Fire risks
Thousands of dollars in personal losses might result from the damage. You'll likely want to turn to your home insurance policy for help. Yet, home coverage might have only limited options available for hurricane damage.
Home Insurance And Hurricane Damage
Whether your home insurance covers hurricane damage might depend on the damage itself. Most policies don't explicitly say they cover hurricane damage, because damage can vary. Rather, they will cover certain types of weather (and hurricanes contain many).
Most policies will cover damage related to wind. For example, collapsed roofs and structural damage will usually have coverage. Florida requires all home policies to cover hurricane wind damage if the National Hurricane Center declares the storm an official hurricane. Carefully check your policy, however. Make sure it also covers wind damage for storms that are not official hurricanes.
In Florida, many mortgage lenders require property owners to carry flood insurance. However, standard homeowners insurance usually will not cover flood damage. This includes flooding resulting from storm surge. Instead, you'll have to enroll in a specific flood insurance policy. Flood insurance comes backed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This is a government program that offers flood insurance.
Work with your Insurance Place of Orange Park agent to determine the right homeowners policy for you. Ask them to explicitly explain to you the way your policy will cover hurricanes. If you have extra concerns that you want addressed, ask if you can have your coverage expanded. Your agent can help you determine the right financial limits for you home's full value.