Do I Need Hurricane Insurance? Flood Insurance? Earthquake Insurance?
Hurricane season is already in full swing and in the spirit of that I thought it would be a good idea to go over the types of insurance most home owners think about when buying a new home. I visited my good friend, Stiles Bee IV, a State Farm insurance agent on Daniel Island to get a better idea of they types of insurance offered and what they cover. Stiles has been in the insurance business for the last 6 years and has owned and operated his own State Farm agency in Daniel Island for the past 3 years. Standard Home Insurance includes All-Peril coverage which is the meat and potatoes of your home insurance policy. It covers you for most things that could go wrong including fire or lightning, windstorm or hail, freezing of plumbing system or theft.
Real World Scenario: I recently had my satellite dish struck by lightning and as a result, my TV got zapped. The cost of a new TV was $800. If I was to make a claim through my insurance company, I would have had to pay a deductible or around $3,500. Not exactly worth it. I could buy 4 tv’s with that deductible! Not to mention my insurance rating would change, meaning my premium would rise! I just bit the bullet and bought a new TV instead. Moral of the story is, maybe it is best to only use your All-Peril insurance for things that are significant, like your roof flying away due to a windstorm. (Disclosure: Not all deductibles are the same. Check with your insurance agent to find out what your deductible is)
Living in the Lowcountry, Hurricane insurance is something most home owners consider. I get a lot of clients who get confused as to what exactly Hurricane Insurance and Flood Insurance cover. Let me try to make it easy for you…
Hurricane Insurance covers you for just that…A Hurricane. To be considered a hurricane, it has to be named, ie. Hurricane Irene, Hugo, etc. Any water damage to your dwelling or items in your dwelling from water coming from above, ie. rain, is covered under Hurricane Insurance, however water damaging your items from below, in the case of a flood due to a hurricane is not covered! That’s when you need Flood Insurance.
Flood insurance covers you for water that rises from the ground up. So if it rained for 40 days in a row and your home became submerged, then you’re covered! The only time you are required to get Flood Insurance is if you live in a flood zone, however if you live in an area that is not in a designated flood zone, you can still get flood insurance. It’s really up to you!
Earthquake Insurance is the big x-factor here in the Charleston area. The fact of the matter is the last big earthquake hit the Charleston area in 1886. Most earthquake experts say we’re due for another one. This kind of insurance is again entirely up to you, but here’s a good website to prepare you for when the next big one hits. Typically, Earthquake Insurance comes with a large deductible so choosing to pay for it or assume the risk is again, totally up to you!
I hope this article helped you. If you do anything, I would suggest you go over your insurance policy and see what you’re covered for and what your deductibles are. The last thing you want is a catastrophe to happen and you realize you have to pay crazy amounts of money to rebuild your home. If you have any questions about your policy or your coverages, feel free to contact your own insurance agent, or give Stiles a call. I’m sure he’ll be able to answer any questions you may have.