It has been a basically non-existent hurricane season in the South, but with Joaquin bearing down on the Northeast, it brings to mind your hurricane coverage.

Joaquin is a category 4 hurricane with winds that could increase to up to 130 miles per hour. Can you imagine what kind of damage that could do to your home? Even if it is small damages, the totality of it could add up when it comes to your homeowners insurance. And the onslaught of rain filling streams and waterways that have not seen that kind of volume in years. The flooding could devastate you.

A lot of people learned the hard way these past few active hurricane seasons that homeowners’ insurance does not cover damage caused by hurricanes, water surges and floods. My advice to you…GET FLOOD INSURANCE. The 3 Steps below will also help you protect against hurricane damage.

STEP ONE: Evaluate Your Flood Needs

Even if you don’t live in a flood zone, flood insurance can protect your property and its contents. The average flood insurance policy costs less than $700/year, but if you qualify for a preferred-risk policy, your premiums could be as low as $137/year. According to FEMA, almost 25% of all flood insurance claims came from areas with low-to-moderate flood risk. That $137 could just protect your from devastation financially.

STEP TWO: Evaluate Your Deductibles

Now that we’ve covered your flood needs, let’s look at your homeowners’ premiums. In Louisiana, there is such a thing as a hurricane deductible. The premiums for these generally range from 1%-5% of the insured value of the home. Your standard deductible, let’s say $1,000, wouldn’t apply to claims that are hurricane related.

It is important to understand your hurricane deductible when shopping for the best insurance policy. Keep in mind that the higher the deductible, the lower the premium.

It is also important to understand your home risks. Know that newer home (especially one built after Katrina) are subject to stricter building codes and are less likely to sustain huge damage from winds. But, if you are in an older home, you were not subject to these building codes and are less protected from hurricanes.

STEP THREE: Review Your Protection Now

Don’t wait until the last minute to determine your needs. Some policies have a waiting period before they go into effect, so if you wait until the danger is upon you, you won’t be sufficiently protected.

Set aside a day to review your current policy. Talk to an insurance expert at Henry Insurance Service and we will help you determine if you are sufficiently covered or if you need additional protection.