Hurricane-Ready: Insurance information - WFLA News Channel 8

Hurricane-Ready: Insurance information

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A good homeowner's (or renter's) insurance policy is critical. Discuss the following with your insurance representative:

  1. Most homes in Florida have a special deductible for hurricane damage. Ask about your policy and potential out-of-pocket cost.
  2. Prepare a complete home inventory with photos. Videotape if possible and store in a safe-deposit box.
  3. Does your policy cover the actual cash value (replacement cost, less depreciation) or replacement costs?
  4. Do you need insurance riders on special items?
  5. Is a windstorm insurance policy required?
  6. Do you need flood insurance? 


  • Standard homeowner's policies do not cover flood damage, including storm surge, from a hurricane.
  • Flood insurance is available to all residents in all participating communities. There is usually a 30- day waiting period.
  • If more than half of your home is damaged and is not built to current standards, it will have to be elevated and retrofitted.
  • Permits for any type of construction or reconstruction in the floodplain is required.


  • Notify your insurance agent as soon as possible and have your policy number on hand.
  • Ask when you can expect an adjustor to visit your home.
  • Present photos and inventory of damaged items, including their age and value.
  • Have any receipts and estimates on hand.
  • Be patient. Cases are expedited based on severity or hardship.


  • Avoid flooded areas, high velocity flow areas, and areas subject to sudden flooding. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
  • Roads may not be intact under flood waters and the depth of the water is not always obvious. Turn around and go another way.
  • If the vehicle stalls, leave it and seek higher ground. Rising water may engulf the vehicle; sweeping it away.
  • Use caution at night when it is more difficult to recognize flood dangers.
  • Keep children away from high water, storm drains and viaducts.
  • Throw out any food that came in contact with flood waters.
  • Use flashlights (not lanterns, torches or matches) to examine buildings. Flammables may be inside.


Flood maps are usually kept on file at your local county courthouse, municipal office or library. For additional information, call FEMA's Map Service Center at 1-800-358-9616.

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