When should you file a homeowners insurance claim for hurricane damage? There is a lot of debate over this topic, and misunderstandings about how homeowners insurance works if you have to file a claim after a hurricane.
Many homeowners may think that if there is only a small amount of damage done to their home, that it wouldn’t be worth it to pay the deductible and file a claim. A lot of this has to do with confusion over homeowners insurance premiums, and the misinformation that if you file a claim, your premiums will go up.
This simply isn’t true because a hurricane is considered an act of nature. Damage caused by a hurricane is by and large not preventable. You might be able to reduce potential damage by properly protecting your home with wind mitigation procedures, but if a hurricane hits your home, the majority of damage caused isn’t typically something you could have prevented. Your insurance carrier won’t typically hike your premium due to a hurricane hitting your home.
Your hurricane deductible may vary depending on your policy and your carrier. Hurricane deductibles are separate from all other peril (AOP) deductibles. Most Florida homeowners insurance companies have a 2% hurricane deductible listed in their standard homeowners insurance policy (HO3). This is 2% of the insured value of the home, so if you have a home insured for $300,000, that would be a $6,000 deductible.
If a hurricane causes $3,000 worth of damage, you should file a claim so the $3,000 can be “banked” against your deductible. If another hurricane hits in the same season, causing $20,000 worth of damage, you’d only have another $3,000 left to meet your full deductible. Damage to your home after a hurricane could also qualify you for tax relief. Ask your accountant if you qualify due to a catastrophic weather event in your area.
Olympus offers flat deductible options to policyholders. With a flat deductible, you might only have to meet a dollar amount of $500 or $1,000. In that case, filing a claim for $3,000 worth of damage makes even more sense.
By filing a claim, you may also be able to recoup damage done that wouldn’t be covered under your hurricane coverage. For example, a power outage might have occurred, causing loss of frozen goods. If you have the Spartan Enhanced Coverage Package from Olympus Insurance, this loss could be covered under your endorsement.
Getting back on track after a hurricane is a top priority. However, looking to the future also means being prepared in case of another event. Filing hurricane related claims can help you reduce your risk in each hurricane season.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not form a part of, replace, change or amend any terms, conditions, provisions or language within your Olympus Insurance policy. We encourage you to read your entire policy.