TAMPA BAY, Fla. — Hurricane Ian tore up Sarah Ooms-Farrington’s fence and roof, causing leaks in her family’s Riverview home.
She and her husband are new homeowners and they’ve never had to file a claim. The couple figured their insurance covered everything but the hurricane deductible.
They found out too late that was not the case.
“We got the initial like, ‘Okay, we’ll give you four grand to fix the roof and $1,000 to fix the fence,’” Ooms-Farington said.
The limits on the policy forced the couple to pay out-of-pocket for thousands of dollars in repairs.
“I actually had to go get a loan, get our roof done, get our fence done,” she said.
It’s important to remember there’s no adding on to your insurance coverage after a named storm poses an imminent threat.
That’s why Michelle Mosher, owner of Southshore Insurance Professionals in Brandon, advises homeowners to review their coverage limits annually.
“They want to kind of dig into what those coverages mean and make sure that they have enough,” she said.
The declaration page of your policy lays out your coverages, including hurricane and non-hurricane deductibles.
Dwelling coverage is the maximum your policy will pay if your home is destroyed.
Personal property covers everything that you would take out of the home if you moved, and the loss of use pays for your rent if you need to move out while your home is being repaired.
Most outside structures like fences and sheds are covered but some carriers don’t insure screen enclosures against storm damage.
While you’re checking policies, it’s also important to ensure you are not paying for more coverage than you need. It’s also a good idea to shop your policy around at renewal time since property insurers have been raising rates by double digits.
Report a typo